I recently bought a Profoto Giant 180 reflector used from another Swedish photographer and since then it finds its way into most of my studio portraits, sometimes as my main and only light, but also as a great fill light for full length or less.
This time I was contacted by Nina, working as a corporate lawyer needing new portraits for an article a magazine were about to publish about her and her company.
We did most of the portraits in my small photo studio, starting with white background but later on I switched to a different lighting setup where the Giant went from main to fill.
Lighting Setup with Strip Softbox
The background is originally a white cyclorama, but the main light, in this case a 30 x 90 cm softbox had a soft grid attached so almost no light spilled onto it.
Using a gridded strip softbox like this, with its narrow beam of light is something I wouldn’t really use if I were to take portraits of many people aiming to get the same style.
It takes so little in terms of angle or distance from it to totally change the impact of the light, especially how the shadows change the face of people standing in front of it.
But for portraits like this, it is very fun and interesting to play with, and a grid helps a lot to restrict the light in a small studio like mine.
To avoid deep shadows, I had the Profoto Giant on my right side to act as fill and lessen the contrast a bit. With a medium grey background, you can have less contrast in the face without losing the feeling of the main light.
If I were to do this portrait but on a white background, I would guess I would darken the shadow side just a bit using a flag.
For more Studio Lighting Setup Diagrams, just click and explore.
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