Those GamePro Headshots
- By Tom Bass
- 2K Games
- Director of Marketing
- Thu Jun 24, 2010
Hey this is Tom Bass, and while I'm not doing some 2K marketing or nearly getting killed by a flying monitor, I'm an avid photographer. You may have seen the Civ V announcement and cover story in this month's GamePro. I shot those close up headshots of the team members on location at Firaxis Studios. The art team at GamePro loved the cover render of Washington, and decided it would look awesome to mimic that same style in the photographs in the interior pages.
So I sat down with Jennie in PR and sketched out how to set up the lighting, made arrangements with the team at Firaxis, and 48 hours later was setting up a mini studio in a side hallway at their offices. So for you shutterbugs out there, here's how they were shot:
The faces are lit by two strobes pointed into two 46" white umbrellas inches from their faces for wide, even lighting. There's one on each front side of them and raised slightly above their heads. There's a large white reflector literally on their laps which the subject is holding to fill in the shadows on the center and bottom of their faces. The camera is about 30 inches from their nose.
Washington is really serious in the render, so we did variations on looking serious throughout the shoot: "Look serious but mischievous. Look serious but with a twinkle of goodness in your eye. Look serious and melancholy."
We also took the time to get a new press shot for Sid, as the one that's currently going around (with the brick background) I shot way back in 2005. We wanted to capture his natural warmth, so we set up in the lobby which has some very warm furniture and walls. There are some mini blinds on the front window, so I set up a strobe outside that was remotely triggered and shot right through the blinds to give that sunburst look to the background.
Sid was lit by a large soft umbrella with a CTO (orange) gel on the strobe head to warm the flash light. A gold reflector was placed on the other side of Sid to warm up the shadow areas and fill them in a bit.
There's also a light bulb sculpture right in the lobby, so we had some fun with that. Sid is actually standing on top of a not so steady table during these shots, but thankfully we all made it through the shoot without any falls or fractures.
You can check out the printed photos and the full Civ V story in this month's GamePro.