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Self-portrait for a magazine interview

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Got a magazine interview recently. Due to the pandemic, so it was conducted via email. Answered some questions…and finally come to the challenging part. They want a recent portrait photo of myself…

Searched my hard drive…google drive…handphone drive…nah…don’t have my self-portrait photo. So I told them I will send them one tomorrow.

The next day, I came to work at 8am and have totally forgot about the photo part. At around 4.30pm, while playing around with my camera and a newly received Samyang AF 35mm 1.4 lens, I suddenly remembered on the photo that I were supposed to email them. Luckily my attire were OK, and I quickly go to my shop retails and setup the system for some self-portrait.

Took a dozens shots…and the final one is the one that I emailed them. I actually prefer the 2nd last, but I am sure my wife would prefer me to be smiling more, so I sent the last photo for the interview.

Photographer: Koh Kho King (connected to handphone for 2s timer shot)

Make up artist: Koh Kho King (quick hair gel in the morning. Still stays in shape at 4pm.)

Equipment: Sony A7r IV + Samyang AF 35mm f/1.4 at f2.8 aperture. One small Aputure LED light on the right of the pic to add catch light to the eyes and reduce face shadow. Camera mounted on Jusino tripod extend to near eye level.

Here’s a screen capture of the quick browse of the shots in my handphone that downloaded the smaller size photos automatically to the phone after using it to connect to my camera for the remote control shots. Pretty handy.

Some Comments on the photo shoot experience:

  1. Initial photo taken at F/1.4 aperture seems to be pretty soft. Although the focus is on the eyes, but it doesn’t have the wow feeling of sharpness and not enough depth of feel. Bokeh is nice but I need the face to be more in focus. That’s why I change the aperture the f/2.8
Room lighting. No extra lighting to brighten up the model.
  1. Face seems to have too much shadow beneath the eyes and neck. There is no catch light in the eyes, which make it seems flat and dull. So I added a small LED light to try highlighting the face. Initially I just put the LED on the glass table on the left of the photo. However, the results don’t seems to be good enough. Still no catch light in the eyes. So I put up a chair on the glass table and put the LED on it, just next to my face directly (result is as per the first photo above).
LED on the glass table on the left.
  1. There is too much space above the head. So I tilt the camera angle down a little.
  2. Table a big messy, so I removed the poster on the table beneath the keyboard and left with only keyboard and mouse. Also making sure my phone is not visible in the final shot.
Here’s one of the few from the final shots.

A quick 30 mins self-portrait for a magazine interview…