Portrait: Football Player Robert Woods

by Dustin Snipes on  September 25, 2009 |

Robert WoodsHere is a portrait I did of Football player Robert Woods a few months back. I couldn’t post it until it was printed.

I was very happy with how the shots turned out on this shoot. Robert was a real class act to work with and even told me about Sand Dune Park! Where he works out…along with a bunch of other athletes including Kobe Bryant. You might remember that guy from the NBA Championship he just won. Alas, I did not take a portraits (or even see him) on this shoot.

The first photo was at Sand Dune Park in Manhattan Beach CA. When you first step up to it, it looks simple but I was surely winded after just walking (at a fast pace) up the hill to a little over the half way point and I was training for a marathon!

I used one light with an octabank (held by my assistant Jake) with a battery pack. It was on full power to over power the ambient and make the clouds look dark and stormy.


My assistant Kicked sand in the front and I throw it to the back. We only did a few before it turned out like this. He is actually standing still and posing.

Model: NIKON D700
Firmware: Adobe Photoshop CS4 Macintosh
Lens (mm): 15
ISO: 200
Aperture: 5.6
Shutter: 1/250

This is what the hill looked like. Had tons of people on it and It was VERY sandy as you would expect. My assistant Jake looks very displeased with the amount of sand in his shoes.

I also dump out enough sand to fill a childs sandbox after getting done with the shoot.

This shot was naturally lit! GASP! I used the light coming through the upper windows and set my white balance to 10k.

Model: NIKON D700
Firmware: Adobe Photoshop CS4 Macintosh
Lens (mm): 48
ISO: 250
Aperture: 4
Shutter: 1/640

Two side lights with strip boxes and large octobank in the front.

Model: NIKON D700
Firmware: Adobe Photoshop CS4 Macintosh
Lens (mm): 70
ISO: 125
Aperture: 11
Shutter: 1/200

Two lights with strip boxes pointed in towards him for each side. I shot this on a dark grey background with no light hitting it. So it turned black.

Model: NIKON D700
Firmware: Adobe Photoshop CS4 Macintosh
Lens (mm): 70
ISO: 125
Aperture: 9
Shutter: 1/250

A set up shot. Dark Grey back ground.

Thanks for stopping by!

74 comments on “Portrait: Football Player Robert Woods”
  1. GOZDE | | Reply

    o my god. Ty

  2. Vincent | | Reply

    I like the picture, especially the sand effects. It’s an awesome shot!

    Thanks for sharing this photo with us.

  3. Jon DeVaul | | Reply

    Dustin, the first time I ever noticed your work I was blown away…and it keeps getting better than ever!

  4. Jon DeVaul | | Reply

    Just noticed you use Alien Bee’s…I love everything PCB makes. The next time someone puts them down, I’ll direct them to your site…goes to show that talent and vision are what’s important!

  5. Temecula Photographers | | Reply

    That is an interesting shot the way the sand effect in front of the focus happened. I need more variety when it comes to my lenses.

    Great Shot!

  6. SEO Marketing Perth | | Reply

    This is an amazing shot Dustin. The lighting is simply gorgeous! I particularly love how the sand is blowing in the air, it gives the entire image a mystical feeling. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and talent, it’s extremely intriguing!

  7. Jon | | Reply

    Im a big fan of Robert Woods. This picture is spellbinding i absolutely love it. The different contrasts in the picture are amazing. I could sit there for hours looking at it LOL. Superb Work

  8. TylerT | | Reply

    I like this one better than the baseball shots. Mainly, because of the little sci-fi-ish fantasy-like lighting and color/light effects. It shows lots of artistic talent… lots…

  9. IN | | Reply

    that’s really awesome. I wish I can do that. still, your work really inspire me. will be back for more.

  10. Eveling | Como Adelgazar | | Reply

    Hello, very impressive I think your desire to teach others your techniques, I know that not all athletes do that, they usually keep their techniques for themselves, and I am glad to see your samples and not only that but also excellent blogs. Congratulations!


  11. dallas photographer les wollam | | Reply


    just came back to look again at those sand portraits of Robert Woods. Just fantastic! I cant see why you arent shooting for ESPN and other mags right now!

  12. Yasmeen | | Reply

    Awesome photos. I must set one of them as my wall paper

  13. Jose L. Marin | | Reply

    hey Dustin,

    Just a quick heads-up that today @ 10pm-11pm, on the KTLA channel 5 NEWS, or in Sports, they used your image, in the box next to the reporter, of a studio shot, of a happy Robert Woods in the locker room that you took when Woods was at Serra. The image I am talking about is in this blog you wrote:

    It’s the close up of Robert grinning.

    Just want to make sure you are getting paid for it.


    Any questions, give me a buzz…

    Jose L. Marin
    MarinMedia.org Hispanic News Services
    (323) 253-1166

  14. MensAffairs | | Reply

    Really nice work, unbelievable!!

  15. acc gs | | Reply

    i like the blog,good sharing,thanks a lot

  16. Peter | | Reply

    The shots were really cool, nice photography and it shows how athlete Robert Wood is

  17. Dustin Snipes | | Reply

    I do use flags a lot of the times but the strip boxes are a lot better for noting getting flare than just regular reflectors.

  18. Dustin Snipes | | Reply

    Hey Kevin, we just threw/kicked up the sand. It only took a few shots to get it perfect. Got lucky I suppose.

  19. Dustin Snipes | | Reply

    The strip softboxes are Paul C Buff and work with all his lights he sales. They work great!

  20. Dustin Snipes | | Reply

    Hey Alex, all the lights are b800s.


Please wait......