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“I think that life has plans and you only have to be awake and aware to follow them” – Alan Faena

Miami advertising and portrait photographer Jeffery salter who is a Miami based commercial and magazine photographer photographed Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine on South Beach and Lincoln road.

 

Hmmmm.  My kinda of portrait subject.  How can you not be inspired to photograph Alan Faena.  He’s an Argentine hotelier and real estate developer who is creating and building a billion dollar arts district called Faena district on Miami Beach, Fl.  That’s cool!  But what I enjoyed most about meeting photographing Alan, was talking to him about his spiritually and yoga practice.  I also practice yoga and it’s my brief that a mindfulness practice is very important for an artist or in my case a photographer who would like to grow his art.  It’s pretty simple.  When you shooting a portrait or setting up a shot it helps put you into the “zone” by being present, in the moment.  Clearing your mind of yesterdays ghosts or debris and of tomorrow’s dreams.  Observe and embrace the moment.  You won’t always have a subject as charismatic as Faena.  But by truly embracing the time you have with someone, you will perhaps be able to find out what’s makes a person special.

 

Miami advertising and portrait photographer Jeffery salter who is a Miami based commercial and magazine photographer photographed Alan Faena at the Faena Hotel Miami Beach, Fl.

I enjoy using a tripod.  It slows me down and helps in fine tuning just the right angle or viewpoint.  This carbon fiber tripod is the TVC-24L from RRS or Really Right Stuff.  Its rugged, strong and light weight, well suited for double duty, I take it  with me on my landscape photography trips as well as my commercial and advertising photography commissions.  Between the tripod and camera, is my favorite bullhead.  The Arca-Swiss Monorail Z1 dp  has a quick release, very fluid and precise adjustments.

Miami advertising and portrait photographer Jeffery salter who is a Miami based commercial and magazine photographer photographed Alan Faena at the Faena Hotel Miami Beach, Fl.

For the opening photo we shot underneath a stairway that had a skylight which provided a nice soft overhead light.  The curved shape of the winding stairway created some nice shadows creating a wonderful flowing depth.  Those shadows worked well on the background, but Alan’s face needed a bit of pop.  My photo assistant John Karp, handheld a B1 profoto with an 36″ Octabank fitted with a grid.  This gave a directional crisp soft light which brought out Faena cheekbones and added a bit of kick to his eyes.  For this portraiture I used a medium format digital camera called the  Phase One IQ260 XF Camera with a Schneider Kreuznach 55mm LS f/2.8 .  The 55mm lenses is equivalent or has about the same angle of view as a 35 mm wide angle lens in 35mm DSLR format.  I prefer to shoot at a low iso, in this case I at iso 100 and the tripod allowed me to use a slow shutter speed to get the right amount of ambient light balanced with the strobe.

In terms of directing Alan, it was more about building a connection.  I did a bit of pre-shoot research and found out about a retreat his family has in Argentina, and I knew that he was very much interest in yoga.  I asked him questions and talked to him about my yoga practice.

 

Miami advertising and portrait photographer Jeffery salter who is a Miami based commercial and magazine photographer photographed Alan Faena at the Faena Hotel Miami Beach, Fl.

 

The second set-up was in the Faena theater.  We had pre positioned the lighting so all Alan needed to do was sit down and immediately get to work.  When my team receives a photography commission we try to figure out ways to get the most set-ups in the shortest time.  The subjects are more likely be willing to do more looks if you they don’t have to wait around for the lights to be moved from set-up to set-up.

Miami advertising and portrait photographer Jeffery salter who is a Miami based commercial and magazine photographer photographed Alan Faena at the Faena Hotel Miami Beach, Fl.

The dramatic curtains provided an excellent backdrop!  No need to bring out the seamless.  A profoto beauty dish as a key light  provided just enough pop to sculpt Alan’s face, combined with a large 74′ Elinchrome octabank behind the camera to fill in any shadows.

 

Miami advertising and portrait photographer Jeffery salter who is a Miami based commercial and magazine photographer photographed Alan Faena at the Faena Hotel Miami Beach, Fl.

An important part of my digital workflow includes photographing while tethered to a laptop.  This allows instantly review of the image and is done using a professional capture and digital raw processing software called, Capture One, with its solid image capturing I have never lost an image on set.

 

 

Miami advertising and portrait photographer Jeffery salter who is a Miami based commercial and magazine photographer photographed Alan Faena at the Faena Hotel Miami Beach, Fl.

 

Alan always wears white and with his trademark hat.  With this image I wanted to portray his grace and balance spirit. I think the blue color grade added a coolness to the image, but the straw toned hat manages to float, giving the image a three dimension feel.  It’s useful to  carry a small roll of seamless paper or neutral tone fabric and do a simple clean photograph, to give the  photo editor, in this case, Ronnie Weil of  The Wall Street Journal a cover option with room for type treatment.

Miami advertising and portrait photographer Jeffery salter who is a Miami based commercial and magazine photographer photographed Alan Faena at the Faena Hotel Miami Beach, Fl.

The penthouse house glass balcony doors let in a beautiful layer of soft light for the seamless set-up.  My first assistant, John Karp stands beside me, keeping a watchful eye open and ready to make any adjustments to the camera or set-up.  A silver fabric on the wooden floor bounces a bit of pop into Alan’s eyes and blocked some of the brown spill from the floor.

 

Miami advertising and portrait photographer Jeffery salter who is a Miami based commercial and magazine photographer photographed Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine on South Beach and Lincoln road.

This is how it ran in the The Wall Street Journal.  Thanks to Ronnie Weil, the most excellent photo editor for this assignment.

Thanks for reading!  Any questions feel free to give me a shout.  I get most of my gear from the good folks at Capture Integration.


 

Miami advertising and portrait photographer Jeffery salter who is a Miami based commercial and magazine photographer photographed Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine on South Beach and Lincoln road.

Miami advertising and portrait photographer Jeffery salter who is a Miami based commercial and magazine photographer photographed Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine on South Beach and Lincoln road.

Great to work with the Mayor of Miami Beach, Philip Levine. We began the day photographing in his South Beach office where we had plenty of canine help from Earl the 1st bulldog of Miami Beach.  Afterwards onto to pedestrian and cafe filled Lincoln road to shoot at the unique architectural features and Art Deco style landscaping.


Miami Photographer Jeffery Salter  photographs Enrique Iglesias  photographed by Miami advertising and editorial sports photographer Jeffery Salter who also does high end portraits of celebrities.

Miami is a Mecca for Latin music stars.  I was commissioned by David Baratz picture of USA Today Weekend to shoot a portrait of Enrique Iglesias who was about to drop a new album for the cover.  Glad to share a few workflow tips and BTS photographs.

Latin music star Enrique Iglesias, photographed by Miami photographer Jeffery Salter.

 

For cover shoots I normally use my Phase One IQ260 medium format digital back on a DF+ camera body. The capture size is 60 megapixels. Looking beyond that huge file that when opened up in photoshop is 256 megabytes you will see great tonal range and detail. Skin looks great. Ninety five percent of the photography I do are portraits so that is very important. The tripod used is made in California by Really Right Stuff it’s  a RRS TVC-24L is made of carbon fiber, light as a feather and stiff as a board and a joy to use.  Definitely slows down the shoot in regards to setting it up and such, but the quality gain in having a steady base for the camera is worth it.  I never was a big user of tripods before and frankly my old one was made of steel, heavy and a pain in the backside, I can’t count the number times it pinched my fingers….   It’s definitely a different mindset when you switch to tripod mode from handholding, meaning you need to  really pre-visualize and know the angle you want rather then finding a nice angle on the fly.  A great ballhead for fluid adjustments is the Arca-Swiss Z1. My camera has a quick release plate which allows me to quickly go between handholding and tripod use.

Behind me is a Elinchrom 74″ Octa bank it’s not a “Key” light but an provides a nice fill for shadows, think of it as a huge window with soft light adding just a touch of life to the shadows. My photo assistants hold shiny reflector boards and black flags to shape the light a bit more. I call that putting a bit of english on the light. Anyone can purchase a soft box or umbrella or any of the tons of light modifiers sold, but it’s important that a photographer takes control of his tools which will lead to developing personal style. I call this “layering or building light”.

Latin music star Enrique Iglesias, photographed by Miami photographer Jeffery Salter.

 

I use Capture One  for consistent and reliable tethering on location or in the studio.  In this shoot I was capturing to a 15 inch Apple MacBook Pro.  Those bright blue bands on the digital back and lens hood are bumpers, a low cost way to keep your gear looking crisp, available at any sporting goods store usually near the cashier.

Enrique Iglesias is photographed by Miami portrait and advertising Photographer Jeffery Salter

Latin music star Enrique Eglesias photographed by Miami celebrity, portrait and advertising photographer Jeffery Salter

 

For the second set-up I went in close for a tight headshot.  When you only have a limited amount of time for a shoot it works well to have several sets built and pre-lit.  My goal for this shoot was to shoot against a crimson seamless, then  on a black backdrop and finally finish with a wooden plywood set.  Each set had it’s own lighting design.  On the black I used a single profoto magnum reflector inches from Enrique’s face with a two reflectors for fill.

Miami People and portrait photographer Jeffery Salter photographs Latin music star Enrique Iglesias in Miami, Fl.

 

For the final set-up I used a 36 inch Profoto Octa bank as my key light with a 1 stop net bring down the tones on the plywood background above Enrique’s head. A 4 x 8 white foam core bounced in a bit of light for fill.   On the floor I have a small Profoto strip bank to kick a little fill into Enrique’s eyes.  You may notice a red table on a 20″ c-stand, its a simply beautiful and function laptop tray made of 1/4 aluminum.  I got it from Backstage equipment , they are an equipment company in Hollywood, Ca.

 

If you have any questions about the shoot feel free to drop me a comment.  Thank you for reading.

 

 

 


This is called hooking the big one…when you get a call to photograph “The Iron chef”. Miami is rapidly becoming known not only as city with great beaches, but a destination with many fine restaurants. Chef Masaharu Morimoto aka “The Iron Chef” is opening a new south beach restaurant at the Shelbourne Hotel.

Miami photographer Jeffery Salter photographed Iron Chef Morimoto for Ocean drive magazine.

Photographer: Jeffery Salter
Picture Editor: Jennifer Pagan