Jake Weber


Basement Portraits

When all you have to work with is an open, newly re-done basement with a low ceiling and pale cream walls you make the best of it.

This was my first series of experimental portraits with an off-camera strobe light that was executed in a slightly-professional manner. Professional in my ability to see a clear vision of my ideas, outfit selections — slightly-professional in the small foam core board, sister assistant, and sporadic ideas churning out one after the other. 

The first image I began with was difficult to sculpt initially; I was playing with exposure and lighting position to see what dramatic lighting effects I could achieve with the limited space. Not a bad image, but it could certainly be executed better with a solid background and perhaps better shadow fill. 

Wanting to achieve a darker background and a more intimate portrait, I placed Mariah further away from the wall and set my flash output moderately low with a dome diffuser. This allowed for soft, natural light with nice, deep shadows. 

My most creative-influenced photo is arguable the weakest of the bunch; I wanted to create a back-lit image that wasn't too boring, so Mariah suggested flipping her hair back. Though cliché, I hadn't seen many hair-flip photos that were backlit so I thought it was a good idea. 

My favorite and possibly the best overall image I described to Mariah as "a bubblegum image". I had her sister Cloe hold a piece of foam board just behind Mariah and placed my flash to create a high-contrast image. With a bit of Lightroom tweaking the final result came out nearly perfect as I had envisioned. 

Overall I'm incredibly happy with the images I was able to create on a quick whim — these inspired me to practice more with my flash and planned portraiture. Hopefully more to come soon!