Interview

May 8, 2017

Bold & Bona Fide with BONNINSTUDIO

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Portraiture Tips from Eduard Bonnin

Brilliant portraiture can be challenging to nail. Although technique and style play key roles, creating truly unique portraits requires narrative, cohesiveness and intrigue.

BONNINSTUDIO’s latest portrait set boasts bold backdrops, vivid colours and charismatic faces, composing a dynamic visual experience. We stole some of Eduard of BONNINSTUDIO’s time to probe him about his vision for this vibrant shoot and to learn a thing or two about executing stellar portraiture.

What was the inspiration behind this colourful set?

This is a series I have wanted to shoot for a long time. The initial idea was to do street shoots with more of a lifestyle feel. We wanted to go out and find people in real places and situations, and ask them to model for the series. We altered our vision a bit and decided to shoot the same concept but in the studio, holding a casting call to find unique models and shoot colorful portraits.

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So, why the decision to shoot in the studio vs street??

We wanted to show awesome people with a lot of character without any distractions. For that, we realized the studio was best. We wanted less acting and as few objects as possible, focusing on the expression of the models and their own style.

Our vision was to show that every person on the planet is unique and special. We want to move away from mainstream media interpretations of beauty and show the real beauty of real people.

How do you achieve such real, honest shots?

The casting was very important for us. We put a lot of effort into finding these awesomely talented people. I think that the half of the production time of that series was the scouting process. It was an absolutely enriching experience.

Finally, when we had the casting, we focused on showcasing each model’s strongest attitudes and really representing their genuine personalities. Working with these great people was really easy.

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How does lighting impact a shoot like this??

In my Stocksy portfolio, at least 90% of my work is shot with natural light, but for this special set, I shot with a flash.

The lighting design was very simple. I only shoot with one flash with a softbox situated in front and above the model to create simple dimensions in the faces, casting a small shadow below the chin. We also situated 2 big, black V-flats on both sides of the models to reflect light.

Any tips for shooting a cohesive portrait set?

I think that if you want to shoot a set, you need to look for a link between each portrait. It could be a lot of things, for example, the crop, the light, the colours, the background… anything that can create a story when you show all the portraits together. If you do that, every portrait will become stronger.


Eduard Bonnin is a Barcelona-based commercial photographer with over 10 years of experience. His career began in product and portrait commissioned works and in 2013 moved to shooting stock exclusively, focusing on lifestyle and portrait photography. See more of BONNINSTUDIO’s work here >>


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