Full Circle: Tulsa Portrait Photography x The Black Upstart


At the end of 2015 going into 2016, armed with a Nikon D7100, two kit lenses and a 35mm lens I picked up from a quick mid-week trip to B&H, I began shooting for one of my first clients. They were called The Black Upstart, an organization dedicated to helping black entrepreneurs build successful and profitable companies. I learned a lot from my time with them, improving my understanding of photography from the fundamentals to practical use. During the last weekend of July, as they completed their first pop-up school in Tulsa, I got the chance to shoot for them again, this time with a greater understanding of lighting, angles and composition under my belt.

For this shoot, the goal on my side was to use dynamic lighting to create a stronger image than what I could get with just natural light by itself. My tools for this shot were my Sony a7 III, the 24-105mm f/4 G OSS lens, the Godox V860II-S Speedlite with X-Pro Trigger.


Since this was shot in broad daylight, a couple of things had to be considered. First, if I was using a speedlite or strobe in broad daylight, it would have to be used at or close to full power to beat out the sun in conjunction with a low ISO sensitivity so that the light hitting the subject is the main light being picked up by the sensor. Second, for shooting a large group of people in staggered rows, having that f/4 aperture would be perfect while still having everyone in focus and blurring out the background.

The final shot brought all these things together to make a powerful shot that showed off the greatness of the group.

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