I had a great time yesterday with my former elementary school principal and local icon Sam “Mr. T” Turner. He turned 80 recently and it seemed like the right time for another portrait sitting. When last he visited, I had just opened the studio and was still trying to understand how to use my new lighting equipment (see that session here). Over the past 24 months literally hundreds of faces have come through my doors, yet I still felt apprehensive when I heard his footsteps coming down the hallway. Our time together this round was more collaborative, partly due to my camera being tethered to a 27″ iMac so we can view our efforts in real time together and make course corrections as we go. It’s an entirely different experience than it was 2 years before.
Admittedly Sam Turner has one of those faces most photographers only dream about. With ease he could transform his appearance into James Earl Jones, or best selling author, or disapproving uncle, then effortlessly back to the beloved hero many of us in the Newton area adore. He’s an amazing subject and willing to play. Not an easy thing to do as I learned recently with Peter Hurley in NYC.
For all the geeks who want to ask, my favorite light with Mr. T came from the simplest source of all. The main was a “beauty dish” perched directly in front of him, plus two strobes illuminating a white background. Clean and simple.