Recently, we had the pleasure of photographing Bayleigh – a 17-year-old girl who has her sights set on becoming a commercial pilot. She’s still in school, but that hasn’t stopped her making the time to get a kick start on her training with ATTTO through their gateway programme.
ATTTO is the industry training organisation for the aviation, travel, tourism and museums sectors. They help people and businesses succeed through on-the-job training. Each year the ATTTO A+ Awards celebrate outstanding trainees from across the different sectors who have shown commitment to their training and drive to move forward in their careers, while making a difference within their workplaces.
Bayleigh was nominated – and picked as winner – for the ATTTO A+ Awards aviation sector. These portraits were required for the awards ceremony and will also be used by for ongoing PR, marketing and promotion.
Images of Bayleigh in the plane were shot using ambient light only. For these I used the Canon 70-200mm f2.8 L lens so I could shoot from a distance and stay clear of those pesky limb-reducing propellers.
The portraits were shot with a mixture of flash and natural light. Two SB26 speedlites at full power were fired through a single shoot through umbrella enabling the light to be balanced between the background and the subject.
The second flash was attached to the lightstand using what we have dubbed the McNally clamp – (because Joe McNally is often found using several speedlites using these things and he had something to do with their creation).
Where possible, the image was composed with the sun behind the subject, with the flash on the opposite side to the sun to create a subtle cross-lighting effect. The umbrella was pushed in as close as possible without being in the frame, to maximise the light output.
The flash was gelled with CTO to match the warm sunlight, and a circular polarizer was used on the lens for all images to keep some colour and detail in the sky – essential on a bright day like this.
Bayleigh was very relaxed and easy to work with, and has since gone on to complete her pilot training.