by Paul Rogers
I was commissioned to photograph Janice Atkinson, a former Conservative who defected to UKIP and is now one of their top candidates for next year's European Elections, for The Times newspaper. I had twenty minutes before the interview at her home in South London.
I started with these images, using a Lastolite Ezybox and one snooted flashgun high up to light her hair and the top of the sofa. By using a grid in the soft box, and a snoot on the bare flashlight, I could control the fall of light and maintain a dark background. I like this effect in portraits as it allows you to show some context of where the subject is without the background elements becoming a distraction. It helps to shoot this with a fairly wide aperture of f/2 to blur the background as well.
I then used the wall in this room to shoot some fairly straight portraits, using the softbox again as the main light source, but lighting the wall with the second flashgun.
In another room, Janice showed me her Union Jack sofa, an ideal prop for photographing a UKIP member on. I knew this would probably be the picture The Times would use. There was not as much space to arrange the lighting in this room, but I've used a similar lighting setup, without being able to light her from so far behind as before.
Here's the image used in the paper, on page 3.