A Portrait of My Own

Every year or so, I take a new portrait of myself for my business. It's partly to keep things updated, and partly because I never have any photographs of myself, since I'm the photographer in the family. Let's be honest, how many moms are EVER in the photographs they take of their families?

Luckily, this year I have an awesome crew in my studio, Level Four Studio, which means I've got another photographer and a hair and makeup artist, which makes life so much easier than setting up a tripod and trying desperately to get a shot of myself that's in focus.

After I got the lighting set up, my Makeup Artist, Kim Clay, gave me beautiful hair and makeup that made me feel pampered (if you've you've never had your hair and makeup done by a professional, you need to get your life strait and make this happen. It's the best thing ever,) and I got to see this transformation from harried working mom to fancy professional.


Here is the light set up I put together. I wanted a big, soft key light, and some very subtle hair light with just a tiny bit of fill. Since we're still in the middle of designing and finishing our space, it took a little bit of finagling to get the set up I wanted, and it's definitely not pretty, but it worked!

Head shots pull back

The key light is an Alien Bees 1600 modified with a Photek Softlighter set about 45 degrees to the right of where I stood. The hair light was levered up above the backdrop, since we don't have a boom arm yet, and the fill light was feathered away from me and bounced a bit against the wall to keep it large and soft.

My studio mate, Kevin, was good enough to get behind the camera for me and attempt to coach me into something resembling a halfway decent portrait. Unfortunately for Kevin, I can never stay too serious on set, so quite a bit of goofing off happened...

When all was said and done, though, this was my favorite image of the bunch. It makes me feel professional, capable, and pretty, which is a nice thing for a working mother (who spends half of her time in athleisure wear, chasing a four year old) to feel.

Thanks Kevin and Kim! I couldn't have done it without you ;)

Nicole York Portrait