Rhode Island Portrait Photographer: Janek Gwizdala sessions

Janek Gwizdala is one of the best bass players in the world. If you aren’t familiar with his music take a few moments and watch this video or this one

and go check out his website

I had the pleasure of photographing Janek this week. during the session I learned that he is obsessed with magic and card tricks. So we changed gears from my original thought which was to photograph him with his beloved instrument and made a portrait with his cards. I felt like this was the stand out shot from all the photos we took because it not only looks visually amazing with the cards flying through the air but also speaks to how I feel about improvisation and art in general. There is an element of Magic to beautiful art. When you watch Janek play his bass or any amazing artist create improvisational art there is an element of “wow that can’t be true?” that happens for me. I feel like we captured that element in this portrait. Also I have always said that photography is lying with images which lines up nicely with the idea of the card playing charlatan image we made here.

Janek Gwizdala portrait by Seth Jacobson

Here are the rest of the portraits we made. Janek’s beautiful wife Bethany jumped in at the end for a few photos too. Thanks Bethany and Janek 🙂

About Seth Jacobson Photography

Living in Rhode Island and a bit obsessive about photography!!!

Posted on November 26, 2012, in Model's, portrait photography and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. I’m curious (if you don’t mind sharing), what was your light setup for that shot?

  2. 🙂 Small strobe behind, pointed at background. Large softbox, maybe octabox, positioned directly in front and above subject (angled down at maybe 45°) for the main, with maybe a reflector against the base for fill. Anywhere remotely close?

  3. That is a pretty good guess. When trying to deconstruct am image look at shadows and reflections, they will tell you where the lights are. These photos had a few different set ups but the 1st image with the cards flying through the air was set up like this:
    1 big octal box positioned above Janek and in front of him pointing straight down. this was the main light on him. Then there were 2 more lights (bare bulb no modifiers) behind him and up a little and off to the right and left pointing more or less with the beams making an X toward my camera. this gave that nice back light on him. That is all no lights on the back drop which I wanted to be a little darker to really make him pop! Thanks for your interest!

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