How to Create a Commercial Shoot: Photographing SAE Gentlemen

United States Marine LCpl Jason Fincher photographed in his dress blues for an SAE magazine cover

Morton Visuals had the opportunity to photograph the gentlemen of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity for their website and upcoming brochures. Creative Director Brandon Weghorst brought together SAEs from three San Diego universities for these commercial shoot images illustrating the diversity of the fraternity.

With the expected use including magazine, brochure and website, the plan was to photograph each man in a variety of full-length poses on a clean white background (to enable clean knockouts for compositing). Morton Visuals selected the San Diego Photo District for this job, due to it’s huge cove, ample space for a dozen or more portrait subjects, and ease of access. We needed to match images previously captured at a Chicago convention, which were tone-mapped for an HDR look. For this reason William decided to use a silver PLM 86″ umbrella for a punch of contrast, and then filled the shadow edge with a large white sheet of foamcore to control the contrast. Lighting was provided by Dynalite power packs and heads. Images were captured in Lightroom 5, with a large monitor rotated to vertical to show each capture full-screen.

Each man was talked through a variety of poses, each eschewing stiff formal poses and displaying a casual and happy personality. Each man lived up to the fraternity’s “Be True” ideal, and were indeed a gracious bunch. Thanks to the gentlemen of SAE for a successful commercial shoot!

William Morton of Morton Visuals photographs the gentlemen of Sigma Alpha Epsilon at the San Diego Photo District
William Morton photographs SAE brothers from three San Diego universities for Sigma Alpha Epsilon.
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William Morton Owner
William Morton has been a professional photographer since 1991. Now focused on corporate photography, William travels the country providing commercial, corporate, and event photography services.

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