about this image

This gospel artist came to me because she'd always had a difficult time getting promotional photos of herself that she really liked, so needless to say, the pressure was on. Anyway, there was this one particular moment during our shoot when I accidentally caught her with her eyes closed (happens to the best of us). I sat there staring at the back of my camera for a moment, because the shot had a strange yet interesting quality to it. Suddenly, I had an idea.

I asked her to close her eyes, completely forget that we were doing a photo shoot, and focus her mind on lifting up a prayer to God. Suddenly a beautiful, relaxed expression came over her face, and I pressed the shutter. What you see above is the result.

strobist info

Lit with a single Elinchrom Ranger Quadra inside a 5' octabox, boomed overhead. My assistant was also holding a Lastolite TriGrip reflector in front of the subject (about waist level) to fill in the shadows just a touch.

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tools & gear used

In Photoshop, I removed flyaway hairs and did some skin smoothing, then blended in a bokeh texture to add a dreamy, glamorous sort of feel. I blurred the bottom of the frame to draw the viewer's eye toward the center, and finished up by adding a warming Photo Filter.

Got a specific question about how this image was shot, lit, or retouched? Got a praise/critique? Leave us a comment below!