Julie Benz

It's Just a Hallway
That's what I was told when I was hired to photograph the extremely beautiful actress Julie Benz for a magazine cover.
The location that was chosen was a very popular hotel in Beverly Hills California I was told there were many great locations on the property and would be just a great place to shoot. When I arrived at the hotel I really didn't see anything that really caught my eye. When I arrived at the hotel room that Julie was in with the team of people getting her ready I truly appreciated the  hallway that I was standing in with my wife who was assisting me on the shoot. I could really appreciate the arches and design of the hallway. I could already vision how I was going to light it and use the glossy walls for blow-outs and reflections.
I remember telling everyone our first shot would be in the hallway and for the cover. The reaction was kind of what I expected filled with many comments including "It's just a hallway" I remember trying to light my shot and dealing with many people constantly being in the way as the space was very narrow.
Let me tell you how I achieved this shot that was chosen as the cover shot.
First as always I light backwards. Most photographers will concentrate on their subject up front first. As for me I wanted to use reflection and great back-light to make the shot look very magical and glamours as Julie would be wearing a very interesting and wide dress.  
I would first use 750 watt back strobe with a narrow head. I kept this strobe as far down as possible and made it very easy to hide behind Julie. This would give me just enough to high-light my entire subject. Knowing the walls were glossy I would get a great reflection and create a beam of light straight down the hallway really adding to the shapes and perspective.
Now that I have my back light at just about were I needed it I started to set my subject. I did run into an issues as behind me was the end of the hallway so there was only so far my strobe for my subject could go back. As I was setting it I was finding it was a bit to powerful and not giving me the correct light and was too bright for my camera settings. So to really tone down the subject strobe I turned my medium soft-box on the strobe towards the back wall and up towards the ceiling and that gave me just enough light on Julie without loosing any of the great things that were happening behind her.

Here are my camera setting
Nikon D800  F-stop f/9,  Exposure 1/125, ISO 400

What I was seeing with my test shots was just beautiful and very appealing. I noticed that the vibe and attitudes had changed once I starting showing everyone what I was capturing. Sometimes on a shoot I need to suck it up until I have something to show others that don't have the same vision as myself. The magazine was extremely happy with the photos and I got to work with Julie 4 more times after this.  Although the magazine cropped the shot in more then I would have it still looked beautiful. Julie has a contagious smile.