In my ongoing project of shrinking my equipment bag for quick portraits on location, I have now reached a milestone. This time I just had to pack one Speedlight SB-910, one black/white umbrella, a Lastolite TriFlip collapsible reflector and two light stands. Plus the connectors and clamps needed to attach them.
I usually bring two Profoto D1 or one AcuteB 600R for assignments like this, but as this was inside a building and no sun to battle, bringing just enough to get the work done felt like a good idea. And it was.
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As a photographer I very often use the same lighting setup in my photo studio as my clients want their portraits or products photos to look the same way no matter when they were shot.
Achieving that is relatively simple, I make notes for every client what lighting modifiers I used, how high my stands were, what effect I used and the distance to the model or product. If I can, I also make a lighting setup diagram, but most of the times a simple Behind The Scenes-photo and the notes will suffice.
The one thing missing is…
This kind of beauty portraits in my studio is not what I usually do, but the lighting setup is useful for all kinds of headshots. The main difference might be that these photos have a lot more make-up and hours in Photoshop than the rest of my portfolio.
The client was a Swedish producer of make-up and they wanted photos of their products in use on a model to show the colours of the season. In my studio we managed to fit a model, a stylist, a hairdresser, a couple of people from the client’s office. And me. And four studio lights. And some light shapers.
Behind the scenes and how I did it…
Natural light is often very nice and easy to work with, but sometimes it comes from the wrong direction and makes the location you find yourself in not optimal. One solution to that might be to chose a better location, but why not move the sun instead?
When shooting portraits of famous author/illustrator Anna Höglund we were using her studio which is a small house on her lawn. It is very small and full of stuff, and that autumn day the sun was shining hard light through the windows. With no adjustment to that light, the portraits would probably come out very dark with too much contrast, not really what I had in mind.
One light and a little diffusion solved it…
The autumn is here in Sweden and the light is hard and low. Mostly.
My latest assignment was to shoot author portrait of Anna, in her garden one afternoon last week. I had been there once before, so I knew the layout pretty well but couldn’t really be sure how much the tall trees surrounding the house would shadow the lawn. In this time of the year here in Sweden, the light is fantastic but quite unforgiving, especially for portraits.
So I brought a Profoto AcuteB 600R and a Magnum reflector to battle the sun.
[Read the full post here…]