When first exploring Photography, I was working in a hotel. It was a unique, worthwhile experience. I met and worked with many individuals from varied international backgrounds. They were the audience to which I voiced my initial desires to explore Photography and they willingly allowed me to practice with them often.
As a front desk team, our lives were very engrossed in the operation of the hotel. Hotel work is a 24/7/365 commitment. Coworkers quickly become friends and family. I started to become intrigued by the duplicity we lived. Hospitality is a performance/show in many ways and when you put on your uniform and clock in, you immediately place yourself aside for the service of others. “Yes sir, yes ma’am, certainly, right away, it’s my pleasure.” That all becomes programmed. Afterward, you can release and return to another form of yourself.
I had an idea to take portraits of my friends/coworkers that showed that duplicity. I imagined more members of the staff being able to participate, however I am grateful for Denise and Shan.
It was one of the first times I can remember placing the D90 in Commander Mode and placing the SB-800 off camera.
It was fun, but yet another example of my need to practice. I am very comfortable trying to capture moments, watching for a moment of laughter and catching it. But ask me to slow down, and set up lighting and I certainly could use some practice. But I'm not ashamed to share these images. I was playing with different degrees of flash density and placing the flash at different angles to Denise and Shan. The lesson learned was, diffuse, always diffuse, somehow. Find a white bed sheet. Find something. Unless you're going for something intense/harsh (which I wasn't), then diffuse your light source.
The images of them in uniform are not done with an off camera flash, but a single incandescent light bulb from above.
Aside from thinking about lighting, I did not have much instruction/direction for Denise or Shan, I just talked with them and clicked. Lastly, Denise and Shan were dating at the time and enjoyed having some photos together at the end of our evening.