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This lighting setup is something I have been thinking about a lot, but never gotten to try it for real. I really like the quality of light when it comes to reflected light you can find in the shadows outside near building. The sun, reflecting down light via big windows, can be very nice. And I would love to be able to recreate that light in the studio any time of the year.

But it was not that simple, and I am not even close to getting it right. Yet.

My trials with a large reflector and indirect light…

Portrait on location, reception desk with two lights, Profoto 5-foot Octa. Photographer Stefan Tell

Taking portraits on location with studio lights is something that is 90% setup, 9% small talk and around 1% pressing the shutter. Working in Sweden, I usually bring a couple of lights to every shoot, unless it is a regular assignment for articles in a magazine when natural light feels more appropriate.

The above portrait was an assignment from one of my clients where they wanted a nice picture with the man in a suit standing in their office. I had been there before, so I knew the layout pretty well. Which meant that I only packed two Profoto D1, one 5-foot softbox octa and a couple of light stands, and a Chimera reflector panel.

[Read the full post here…]

Profoto Umbrella XL Silver x2. Studio Portrait. Photographer Stefan Tell

My latest investments in light modifiers are two Profoto Umbrella XL, silver. I also bought two Front Diffusers, but haven’t had the time to test them yet.

2x-Umbrella-XL-silver_Studio_Portrait_Lighting_SetupI have been looking for an easy way to set up simple portraits on-location without having to bring too much heavy equipment, but still be able to get good, big light that I can control. For that, I usually bring softboxes and/or diffusion panels together with a Profoto AcuteB 600R or my Profoto D1 (if they have electrical outlets).

The weight of the monoblocs or the battery generator is nothing I can reduce (until Profoto figures out how to cut the AcuteB in half), but the other bag would be nice to make both smaller and lighter. Many assignments would be easy to do with just two lights, two stands and two umbrellas. But small umbrellas are not that fun, I think.

Studio test of two Umbrella XL…

One light model portrait using Profoto Magnum reflector. Photographer Stefan Tell

Recently I took some portraits for a guy wanting to try his luck as a male model, click here for the result from the outdoor portrait session on a cloudy day.

Before that we started in the studio with a very simple lighting setup. Just one Profoto D1 250 Air and a gridded Magnum reflector, and a bookend. On white background. No retouching, just him.

Lighting setup, behind the scenes and more here…