300 Portraits

19th Feb 2018

It's not often I get to shoot portraits, especially indoor portraits. I usually have to lug my lighting up the side of a mountain! But in January I got asked to shoot 300 of them. All at the same event and in just a little over 5 hours! It seemed like a bit of a challenge, so I said yes.

The portaraits were to be taken as part of a running event called The Marmot Dark Mountains, or MDM for short. An all night navigational race put on by Ourea Events. The general idea was the competitors would sign in on race day between 1700 and 2200, have their personal gear checked to make sure they had all the necessary "survival" tools, e.g a tent, a compass, a course map, be issued with a satelite tracker so HQ could see where they were at all times and then have their portrait taken for the event website. 

As the event was called Marmot DARK Mountains, I was asked to stay with the DARK theme and keep the portraits pretty low key, so i thought a one light, Rembrandt "Triangle" style of Portrait would work pretty well. A simple black portable Lastolite backround was suspended from an overhead beam and I set up a single Elinchrom Ranger head and pack to the left of the subject which was fired through a 4ft Octobox. I taped a red "X" marks the spot on the floor so people knew where to stand and I decided to handhold the camera for ease of framing, since I had know idea how tall or short my subject was going to be. The idea was to try and get everything just right in the camera, as the photos were going to be uploaded to both Ourea's website and Facebook page almost immediately after registration had closed and the event had started. 

The runners were coming through so fast we literally on had a few seconds for each portrait, so if you didn't blink the portrait was usually deemed "good"

It all went pretty smoothly, the competitors were all lovely and fun to photograph - big thanks to Stu (above) for standing in as my model to enable me to check my lighting.