From the category archives:

Studio Lighting Setup

beautydish-portrait-profoto-diffusion-golden-hair-light

This is a photo from one of my latest assignments, portrait of another Swedish illustrator in my studio. During the photo session, I adjusted the setup a little step by step and somewhere in the middle it resulted in this.

The setup was quite simple, but very easy to change into something quite different just by moving the camera to the side just a bit or removing the background paper.

Two Profoto D1, one with a white Profoto Softlight reflector on (i.e. a beauty dish, this time with a diffusion sock I just purchased) and the other with straw gel.

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Studio Lighting Setup Diagram - One Light for Two Persons

I prefer to have one person in front of the camera at the time, if I can chose. But that is something I can not do all the time. So I try to develop ways of doing it as easy as I manage. Smaller groups, like two people is ok. And here are a few things I try to think of to make it as painless as possible.

For this shot, I just used a large 5-foot Profoto softbox Octa with a Profoto D1 and a white background (turned slightly grey from the lack of background lights).

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Behind-the-scenes-CEO-portrait-on-location-using-one-light

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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idea-studio-lighting-angle-of-light-flash-measure

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…

Beauty portrait with make-up, studio lighting with setup for face photo. Stefan Tell

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…