The photo of Gina Trapani that is accompanying Dagny Salas’ Q&A today got a lot of attention from within this newsroom, so I thought I’d share how I made the image.

First off, I found the location a day before doing the shoot. While at UCSD shooting another portrait, I saw this yellow hallway with lights running down the side and I thought how fun it would be to pose someone in the hallway. So I called Trapani and sold her on the idea. I asked her to bring along her laptop and leave a little bit of time to make sure we could execute the concept properly.

When I finally met with Trapani, I told her I wanted to photograph her face against a very neutral setting to create a clean look to the headshot. I took her outside and figured out exactly how close I would have to photograph her to make the image of her face to match up appropriately with her body.

After firing off a few dozen frames, we uploaded the photo to Trapani’s laptop. We picked a nice image of her and blew it up to full-screen size. Then, I took Trapani to the location I had found the day before to make the image for the Q&A, and also tested out a few other locations, which became my Photos of the Day.


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