Portraits: Ásgeir Trausti

Portraits of the Icelandic musician Asgeir Trausti taken on-location at The Slipper Room, NYC. March 11, 2013. Copyright © 2013 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved. (Matthew Eisman/Photo by Matthew Eisman)

I shot a portrait of Icelandic musician Ásgeir Trausti on-location at The Slipper Room.

Portraits of the Icelandic musician Asgeir Trausti taken on-location at The Slipper Room, NYC. March 11, 2013. Copyright © 2013 Matthew Eisman. All Rights Reserved. (Matthew Eisman/Photo by Matthew Eisman)

Photographer’s Notes

No matter how much you prepare for a shoot, you’ve always got to expect the unexpected. Here’s the backstory…

I knew that I wanted to shoot our portrait inside The Slipper Room. It’s a really cool little theater with plenty of interesting nooks and crannies. So I researched photos of the space to help pick a couple particular spots in advance, and I also looked at other imagery for inspiration in terms of the overall look. My basic idea was to create something edgy and dramatic. I felt pretty confident in my vision and preparation.

Fast forward to the day of the shoot. I arrived at the venue to find that another band was shooting a music video inside. The place was full of people and video equipment. The whole thing was a complete surprise to Ásgeir, his band and me. I knew my plans were out the window. I had to roll with the punches and come up with something fast. One of my original ideas was to shoot on the stage and use the curtains as a simple, textured backdrop. So I looked around for something that would have a similar feel. Lucky for me, I spotted some simple red drapes covering large windows on the second-floor balcony. I set up a big octabox, quickly dialed in an exposure and I had my shot. I used my Nikon D800 plus the Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II. My exposure was 1/200 and f/8 at ISO 400.

In retrospect, I’m kind of glad that a wrench got thrown into my plans. It forced me to simplify things, focus on nailing one look and it all turned out for the best.

End Notes

Big thanks to Ásgeir and his managers María and Kiddi! Also check out my images from Ásgeir’s live set.

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