[PitsLamp-short] Portrait I.

It’s been a while, in the last 6 months lots of stuff happened in work, social and personal life. All of which stopped me from updating, all excuses I know, so here is a recent photo to make it up.


Earlier this year, I got to test a sony A7 camera and I kinda fell in love with it. So after a busy summer, I purchased one and I also got some adaptors to use the vast collection of old lenses I have laying around. I tested this out in my studio last night and did a short portrait session with I.

[PitsLamp-shorts] Portrait of strangers

Mamiya RB67 portrait in the streets of Ghent

In the beginning of april, I went out with Stijn to photograph some strangers, while Stijn used his digital camera, I took 2 photos, 1 polaroid to give to the people and one for myself on black and white film.

It was a test in efficiency, I wanted to capture the person in just one photo, nothing more, nothing less. It did not work out every time, but I love the result in the photo above.

Also read Stijn’s report of the day: Improve communication skills, shoot a stranger

All the portraits

Mamiya RB67 portrait in the streets of Ghent

Mamiya RB67 portrait in the streets of Ghent

Mamiya RB67 portrait in the streets of Ghent

Large format camera experiment

Large format camera portrait, Filip Bunkens

When I got some expired large format (4×5 inch) Polaroid film from Helena, I immediately wanted to experiment with it. Sadly enough I don’t have a large format camera, but I know people that do.

After a bit of texting back and forth, I met up with Ian and his Toyo 4×5 large format camera. We set out to create some large format portraits in the city centre of Ghent. It took all our combined film photography knowledge, but we managed to get some usable portraits.

Large format camera portrait, Ellen

We wanted to have everything ready before we started taking portraits of passers by, so off course I had to be the subject, as you can see at the top of this article. After we got it all working, we started to ask strangers to pose for a portrait, Ellen was so kind to help us out. Although the print is a bit light, because of the unpredictable expired film, I still like it. It may well be that it’s only because it was my first time using a large format camera.

Anyway the experiment was a success and I have something new to add to my wishlist. I really want to have and use one of those cameras.

Although not yet with a large format camera, take your chance to book an analogue portrait shoot. You get a signed large darkroom print and decide afterwards what it’s worth to you: More info

[PitsLamp-shorts] Couple portrait Elke & Gerrit

Couple portrait Elke and Gerrit

Another portrait taken during the “I shoot, you decide” series in december. Elke and Gerrit asked for a couple portrait shoot.

Book your own portrait session with a big signed darkroom portrait print and decide yourself how much it’s worth: More info

[PitsLamp shorts] Portrait C.

I shoot, you decide: Portrait Caroline

During the first installment of the I shoot, you decide I photographed C. and this was the A4 photo she chose.

Book your own portrait session with a big signed darkroom portrait print and decide yourself how much it’s worth: More info

I shoot, you decide II: Large portrait

Book now a portrait and decide the cost later

Starting from now till the 10th of february you can book a portrait session and decide the price yourself.

Like last time there is a fixed package, but you can order extra portraits if you want.

The “I shoot, you decide” package contains:

  • A black and white fotoshoot (portrait, family, couple,…)
  • on location (at home, work, in the park, …)
  • A contact print with all the photos
  • 1 handmade and signed darkroom print in a size of 50x60cm on quality paper.

If you have questions about how this all works, you can check out the following blogposts FAQ: I shoot, you decide or I shoot, you decide: the results. But if you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to qsk them.

Book the shoot now by filling out the contact form or call me at +32 486 36 29 61

[PitsLamp-shorts] Kristoff

PitsLamp Photography: Portrait Kristoff

After Help-portrait, Kristoff asked me to make a quick portrait of him. I literally shot 9 photos in less then 5 minutes, but Kristoff is a natural, so it worked out great.

[Tip]: Make-up for B/W portraits

Make up brush

Black and white portraits require a whole other approach on make-up and clothing than colour portraits. This should be kind of obvious because of the lack of colour, but it can be hard to imagine your make up in black and white. I’ll try to provide some pointers in this blogpost.

First and foremost keep in mind that caucasian skin will be very close to white in a well lit black and white photo. This means you want to apply very little foundation. It is better to use more yellow looking foundation to cover up pimples, spots or reddish marks on your face or neck.


In black and white most dark tones will look lighter than you think, they can be great to apply on all places where there are natural shadows and soften those places. You can use them on the hollows of cheeks, temples and eye sockets. Do not use darker colours on eyelids or brow bones instead only use them in the crease of eyes, and around your eyelash line.

Light tones will appear darker. A light toned concealer blended under your eyes, from the inside corners will, lighten the shadow under your eyes and lower you cheekbones. You can use highlights to accent the areas where the light falls, like bridge of the nose, brow bone, center of forehead and tops of your cheeks.

Red is a special colour in black and white, it will turn out dark grey in black and white. So don’t use very bright red coloured lipstick if you don’t want black or dark grey lips.


Because of the lack of colour in black an white, texture will show very easily. This means you want to use a lot of blending to smooth out all the texture of the powders you are using. When you are drawing lines, like under your eyes or around you lips, don’t use a pencil, but use a small brush and paint a shadow instead of a line. This will give a more natural look.

Don’t use any glitter or wet look, glitter will only show up as white spots where the light hits it. A wet look lipstick can appear to be saliva which is not really a look you want on a portrait, unless it is.

Wrap up

Use mainly prime colours, that way you can easily judge how they will look in black and white. If you are not sure how the colour will look in black and white take your camera or phone and put it in black and white mode, that way you see how it looks. Make sure you blend very well to remove all traces of texture. Watch out with wet looks, glosses and don’t use pencils but use brushes to create a shadow instead of lines.

As always with make up don’t overdo it and don’t stop abruptly below your chin, try to create a kind of gradient to have your face match your chest area.

If I made any mistakes in this article please let me know, after all I’m not a make up artist.

[PitsLamp shorts] Chief Viking – Hans Similon

Dmix: Hans Similon

The last couple of months I’m shooting editorial portraits for the direct marketing magazine DMIX. Most of the portraits I’m shooting are for the ongoing series “The future bites”, in this series, young upcoming marketeers are interviewed.

One of the people I photographed for such an article was Hans Similon, who’s title is Chief Viking for the MVNO Mobile Vikings. Hans is a very easy going person with an open mind towards photos. I really enjoyed photographing him

As offices aren’t the most attractive environments for a creative photo, I always try to use something extra. In this photo we used some of the attributes Mobile Vikings has around the office, like the chair and the billiard table.

Film noir

Film noir test

Sometimes you need to challenge yourself and get outside of that comfort zone. I always liked the look of film noir very much, it’s dramatic, dark and is beautiful for both genders. It also works marvelous in black and white which is perfect for my portraits on film.

When I tried to create look for the first time during a sweet summer evening, I couldn’t get the perfect look. So I asked Stijn to help me figure out what I was doing wrong and pose for me.

Film noir test 2

We used a speedlight with a long snoot and another one almost completely blacked out.

I think I can say, successful test and another lighting trick in the bag.