Matt Beard: Shooting an Album Cover for an Up and Coming Recording Artist

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Recently, my crew and I had the opportunity to photograph the young and upcoming recording artist
Haley Horsager for her new album cover, website and
promotional shots. Our goal was to create an interesting and attractive look for her, in an
urban setting.

Working on a limited budget, while at the same time wanting to cover as many
different setups as possible, I knew my Photoflex OctoDome: Small (3 feet) would be my
main weapon of choice. Moving around the loft & exterior of a historic location in downtown L.A. was
much easier and quicker with the OctoDome: Small and strobe fully assembled. My
assistant was able to maneuver easily through doorways, into elevators, and up and down
stairs and onto fire escapes. Using the OctoDome in combination with a single light-
stand, allowed quick and subtle adjustments to the direction of the light, which helped us
achieve the balance we were looking for.

By adding the fabric grid to the front of the OctoDome, we were able
to add just a kiss of light in certain areas This worked especially well for the beauty portraits mixed with daylight,
and the shots with Haley in the window where we just needed some fill.

When we wanted to make the photos of Haley “pop”, and bring in the
background, or freeze the action, we only needed to quickly increase the strobe’s power
and close down on the camera shutter and aperture. For some of the shots we switched
between a ring flash and the OctoDome, and also used both in combination. The quality
of light was easily adjusted to match, by adding or removing the diffusion and fabric grid.

My favorite place to use the OctoDome soft box is outdoors on-location. It’s smaller size
and round shape keep it from being blown around in the wind, and it’s especially versatile
when used with the hand-held LiteReach Plus. This is the best way for an assistant to *Hollywood the light, when needed.

What I personally love about the OctoDome: Small, is it’s amazing versatility.
Although it is small and easily transportable, it can still cover a very wide area if
needed. Or it can be used to make a very direct light source if desired. The quality, and
shape of light it can create, is amazing. It is my favorite go-to tool for most shoots.

*to Hollywood (verb), meaning “Don’t take the time to put it on a stand, just hold it where it needs to be held“.

Check out this behind-the-scenes video of Matt’s shoot with Haley:

Matt has been a professional photographer for over 20 years. With a list of clients a mile long ranging from iTunes/Apple, Nike, Clinique, Lucky Jeans and Levis to Cirque du Soleil, Victoria’s Secret Shoes, and Sony, Matt has become one of the world’s most iconic photographers. Photographer, videographer, or whateverographer, Matt has a truly exceptional gift of capturing the essence of a person in his expertly conceived portraits. To view more of Matt’s work, please visit his website or follow
on Instagram.


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