David Alexander is an interesting and talented man.
An architect by training, David has now for many years managed a real estate business with his wife, Sonnie. David is also a juried artist who creates stained glass pieces. If you've been in the Regions Bank building in Lincoln, you've seen David's work. He was recently commissioned to create an installation for Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital--you'll see it when you step off the elevator onto the second floor. It fills the windows that overlook the roof.
David and I recently talked about making some new portraits and he came by the studio last week to do that.
He'd had a business headshot done several years ago but wanted to update it with an image that would be more characteristic of an artist than a real estate broker. While I often photograph business portraits on a pure white background, I wanted to aim for a more subtle or sensitive look in David's new portraits. That influenced the background, light, and composition choices, not to mention David's expression.
The image above was David's favorite; I also liked the one below.
The image at the top features a dark gray background and David is lit with a Paul Buff Einstein in a "beauty dish," positioned just above him and slightly to the right. A beauty dish* (or, as we called it that day, a manly dish) looks like a 22" diameter salad bowl and it provides a very flattering quality of light--somewhere between a hard and soft look when it's moved in close.
The second image is lit with a Paul Buff Einstein in a 60" Photek Softlighter II. As you can see, that larger light source has a much softer, open quality, similar to a large window. The lighter background further emphasizes the openness of the image.
David was very pleased with his photographs, and it was an enjoyable process working with another creative to make them.
*Many thanks to Jim Grimaldi for letting me borrow his beauty/manly dish.