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…
On one of my latest assignment shooting studio portrait of a Swedish illustrator, I did a few different setups in the studio. One of them was this, a simple lighting setup using two Profoto D1 lights. Main light in both portraits were a white Profoto Softlight Reflector camera right on a boom.
The portrait above uses a large 5-foot softbox Octa as fill camera left, but the characteristic beauty dish look is still visible. With no grid and the model pretty close to the background, the white cyclorama is light grey.
Just add a grid…
This is Anders Jacobsson, well known Swedish author of children’s books, movies and tv-series. He is a nice and happy guy, and is almost always portrayed that way. When I got the assignment from his publisher to shoot a few author portraits, they told me that his next book would be titled “The horror in the attic” (direct translation of the original title). If you write horror stories, even if they are for kids, you can’t really look too happy, so I aimed for something more dark and serious.
This is how I set up the lights…