Cat-Eye Portraits

First things first: portraiture is so much fun. I love being around people, talking to them, learning about them, and trying to bring their personalities out in photographs. Our weeks in the studio making portraits have been amazing in this respect; we’ve had so much time to get to know each other, to talk and pose and laugh.

For our second week of studio portraiture, we learned a ton of different lighting setups and then rotated through the sets, trying out each one in turn.

One of my favorites was the “cat-eye” set, where we put two strip lights (1×4 foot softboxes) on either side of the subject’s face and a beauty dish light above them to create a crisp, punchy light and cat-eyed look:

This lighting scheme is the trademark of portraitist Martin Schoeller; he photographs all the celebs this way, up close in their faces. I think he kind of makes everyone look the same, but it is a beautiful, distinctive signature look.

I tried to mix it up a bit and get various expressions out of my subjects instead of only getting up close and personal, à la Schoeller:

No one ever said portraiture had to be serious!

Tyler came into the studio to model for me and my classmates (many of us had friends and family join the fun), so of course I put him in the cat-eye set. I think he’s talking to me in this photo, but I like it all the same:

There are many more Tyler modeling photos to come, don’t you worry! He is such an excellent subject (easygoing, good-looking, what more do you need?) and my classmates and I had a blast trying out all our different lighting schemes on him. Perhaps he should pursue a new career in front of the camera? Feel free to weigh in on that one in the comments!



Filed under Photo Assignment, Portraits, School

6 responses to “Cat-Eye Portraits

  1. Great stuff Julie … thanks for sharing.


  2. Doug Williams

    I know that guy! Charming. Nice haircut. Someone’s been practicing.

  3. Sally Ferguson

    Don’t know about the haircut but sure like the face. Julie, you are getting so good at this.

  4. Pingback: More In-Studio Portraits of my Beautiful Classmates | Julie Sterling

  5. Pingback: Tyler in the Studio | Julie Sterling

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