Posts tagged as:

4 light setup

Casting-Portrait-shoot-actor_Kerim-Troeller_Photographer-Stefan-Tell

Shooting portraits of authors and actors are a bit similar, you get to use your creativity and you get to create a light for just one person. It is also a good chance to try new lighting setups and other tricks.

Kerim Troeller is a Swedish actor, who recently did a small part in Michael Bay’s “13 Hours”. He needed new portraits for his portfolio and castings, so he called me.

I prepared a main setup that we used with small adjustments during the photoshoot, four lights were involved as well as a lot of different lighting modifiers and other stuff.

Four Profoto lights and other stuff…

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…

Test shot, portrait of a comedian, with Profoto ring flash and a beautydish

Swedish comedian Lasse Nilsen is a guy I have been working with a couple of times now. And it is always a pleasure. He has studied mime in Paris, and works full-time as a standup comedy entertainer, both for companies and in clubs.

He needed new portraits, both the usual headshots, but also portraits with an idea that I can’t write more about right now. Will show you as soon as I am allowed to.

Having taken portraits of someone before teaches you a bit about how they are in front of the camera, but maybe more interestingly, how their face (and skin) reacts to light. That sets the limits for what kind of light setup you can use.

For this session, I used a gridded beauty dish as my main light with a ring flash as fill. Maybe not the combination I would use for company portraits, but when you have the time to adapt it to new ideas, it is very rewarding.

[Read the full post here…]

lighting setup diagram - 2-in-1 group and portrait, layers

This is, without bragging too much, my smartest lighting setup by far.

Or so far. It is a combination of things I have learned when struggling with making the standard group shot more easy to manage and one of my standard portrait setups I use in the studio as well as on location.

This is lighting in layers, where each layer is a working setup for individual portraits/headshots and smaller group shots, respectively. All you need the four lights, but you could do it with only three if you skip the rim light.

This is how it worked, and looked…

model-profile-portrait

Here is another portrait from a recent photo session with a young Swedish model I have worked with. The light setup and post-production is about the same as the portrait I wrote about earlier, see the post with lighting diagram and behind the scenes photos here.

Just a different crop and a little lighter retouch. What strikes me when I am working with something like this is how I never can go as far with skin fixing and beauty retouch as I had planned.

I always work as much as I can with all the tricks that Photoshop offers, just to reduce the opacity of all the adjustment layers until the original photo shines through enough so it feels like a normal human being again.

Something I have to work with, I suppose. Or just continue photographing ordinary people.