Quick set ups

So here is a super quick post to just chuck some general lighting info out there. Apart from being a photographer I also teach lighting masterclasses where I take students through how photographic lighting works and how to apply it to the subjects and create the looks you want.

So anyway here is a quick look at a portrait lighting set up for a close cropped headshot.


This shot is of model Alina in my little studio the other day. It’s a really simple single light set up against a white wall.
One of my favourite ways to shoot is with a single light source. Just by varying the position in relation to the model and to the camera you can create so many different effects.
For lighting a single person, or even a couple, one light can be more than enough.

I placed the light to create dramatic shadows which is what gives her eyes and hair that look. But by placing her next to the White wall I was able to fill the harsh shadows and soften the look of her features.
Essentially we managed to create a punchy picture and yet retain a soft even tone on her.

The background could be made to fall away more by altering the position of the strobe and angle of approach to the wall if that was the effect you wanted. However for this we wanted clean, even tones and a soft natural feel. Excessively dark backdrops often work in fashion shoots and moody portraits, but they rarely look natural.

Below is an example of using the same single light set up near a white surface (or if you’re in a large area get your reflector’s white face and stand it just out of shot to camera left) with an added kick from a second strobe behind the model to the left.
We keep tone in the background but the little kick helps separate our subject.


If any of you guys are interested I can post some bts images and lighting diagrams later on 🙂


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