Making of: Pete Parkkonen (Album cover)

The Assignment & Goals

Back in February I spent a week in Hawaii shooting a music video for Pete Parkkonen (read more about that project here) - two weeks after getting back to Finland, Warner Music also commissioned me to shoot Pete’s new album cover and some promotional photographs for posters and his album booklet. 

Our goal with these photos, was to create a set of simple and minimalistic portraits of Pete, that at the same time would convey a slight feeling of mystery and artistry. We really wanted to concentrate on perfecting the lighting setups, and worked mainly around a small set of different poses that we had decided on beforehand. I had Atte Tanner, my good friend and trusty assistant, helping out on this shoot. Together with him, we worked on each of these photos and tweaked the lighting for as long as we felt necessary, until we were 100% happy with the results we saw in the back of the camera.


Here is a BTS-photo of one of our many lighting set-ups that was used for these two shots:

Pete 2

Here’s a lighting-diagram from the same set-up: 

Pete by Guest User.png

In this light setup I used the large octa as the main lightsource, and used a large square softbox to fill in some of the shadows that the octa created. And to create some separation I added a hairlight behind Pete. The hairlight created some flares in the photos, so I used a black flag to get rid of them. I also felt like the hairlight gave a bit too much of an effect on the leather jacket, so I added an additional layer of diffusion in front of the light, just to soften it up a bit.


Concentrating on the lighting like this, made the post-processing very quick and simple for me. The light looked good straight out of camera, so I only had to use dodging and burning to accentuate the highlights and shadows that were already there in the first place, instead of needing to “sculpt” the face from scratch with extensive dodging and burning. 

The colors looked great straight out of camera as well, and I didn’t need to do much tweaking on them either. A simple curves-adjustment did the trick on these photos.

Making of

Here are some behind-the-scenes photos from the shoot - taken by Atte. If you have any questions related to this photoshoot, the lighting setups etc. - feel free to post them in the comments section - I’d be happy to answer all of them :)


Final photos

Pete kansi
Lauri Laukkanen - Pete Parkkonen (Studio-final)-11.jpg

Check out the full set of photos over at the "Commercial Projects"-page: