Behind the Scenes With the Queens of Arts with Miami Herald Photographer Al Diaz
Recently, I had the opportunity to work for the Miami Herald to assist photographer Al Diaz and help create a portrait of five incredible women who are arts leaders in South Florida: Lourdes Lopez, the head of Miami City Ballet; Barbara Stein, the executive director of Actors’ Playhouse; Susan Danis, head of Florida Grand Opera; Silvia Karman Cubiñá, head of the Bass Museum; and Beth Boone, head of Miami Light Project.
Al and I met up at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts and quickly got to work setting up our gear inside the stunning Ziff Ballet Opera House. The assignment called for Al to capture portraits of each woman individually, in addition to one main group portrait that would be used for the leading story in the arts section of the newspaper September 21, 2014. Al would only have a short span of time that the women were available, so we opted for two separate lighting setups to keep the transition from group to individual portraits fluid.
Working with 5 separate Profoto strobes, our main setup had two large softboxes on either side of the camera to illuminate both ends of the group photo evenly, another boomed overhead to shed light on their hair and give an additional kick to their dark black dresses, and a backlight with a 20 degree grid about 25 feet behind the subjects. When we moved over to the individual portrait area, this backlight was moved a few feet away to fulfill it’s job for the next series of images along with one large strobe with shoot through umbrella as the main light source.
When the five women arrived it was go-time and all ran smoothly! Al shot beautiful portraits and it was an honor to be able to work along side helping direct and assist with the gear. Below are a few BTS images I shot with my iPhone 5s and the main image he shot for the Miami Herald.
Thank you Al!!!