I had the fantastic pleasure of shooting a very good friend of mine, who is a very talented Actor/Singer/ Dancer/ Yogi and all round great person, known by the name of Mat Millns. Mat is currently performing at the Pentamiters Theatre in Hampstead in "You Never Can Tell". I know Mat from our days at the Gielgud (where I met many good friends whom I dearly miss, as I don't get to see them as much as I use to) so when he asked me to do some quick head shots for him in the park before his show, it was a no brainer.
To say that Mat is full of life is an understatement, as he has the ability to walk in to a room full of people he has never met and within minutes turn them in to an army of friends. Mat is someone whom I would ask advice from because he is a very honest person and wont tell me just the things I want to hear, to me that is a valuable friend as he tells me his exact view without any sugar coating.
Normally when I shoot actor's head shots I usually use a huge window to my back, have a speedlight in to a softbox or a shoot through umbrella which has given me some fantastic results, but this time when I was shooting with mat we decided to use natural light in the park. Normally I jump strait to my speedlight as it is what I am use to and I know what results I can get from it, so in a way it is my safety net, but this time all I had to work with was the sunlight being diffused by the trees which to my surprise gave me MUCH BETTER results than any of my strobes did as there was this amazing quality to the light that I could never get with speedlights or strobes.
Some of the shots that I used a speedlight behind mat for were inspired by Zack Arias (who is an amazing photographer based in Atlanta Georgia). I know mat is a very earthly and I figured since we were in the park, lets try and get him to do some yoga and give the impression that he is drawing energy from the forest which is lighting up from the centre. I used a simple canon 430ex ii at full power (with a Stofen diffuser to spread the light) behind Mat with pocket wizards to trigger them. I exposed for mat and just lit the background with the speedlight, that way I get this cool effect where mat is a tad bit underexposed and the background is sort of glowing with light.
Ow and as for the title, its one of mat's lines from "You Never Can Tell" he has most of the best lines in the whole production, its only a pity it took 2 hours for his character to grace the stage, but WELL WORTH THE WAIT!!!