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Clamshell lighting is something I used to do a lot before, then I took a break and almost never used reflectors outdoors. Now I think it is time to bring back that style, as it is gives a very flattering and nice portrait light with very simple equipment.

All you need, in its simplest form, is your main light and a reflector. If you want, you can always switch the reflector to a fill light, but that is maybe not as simple on location as it is in a photo studio.

[Read the full post here…]

Portrait with hair light

I often use light from behind to act as rim light in my studio portraits, and might even call that light hair light if it lights the hair. But that is not entirely correct, I think. “Real” hair light should be focused on the hair more, from higher up.

This portrait, or headshot, I took of a woman wanting a good profile picture for her CV and online services such as LinkedIn is a good example of how a hair light can make the ordinary lighting look a little bit more glamourous.

Two light, a grid and a DIY reflector…

Headshot portrait using Profoto D1 and White Softlight Reflector in a studio

Portrait photography is a good niche to be in as a photographer, I think. But most of the times you only get one shot at getting it right. At least when it comes to business portraits, most companies tend to update their image bank only when they really need to.

One reason might be that most people like to look younger, and an easy way is to use old photos from when they really were younger.

But, this time I was asked by a Swedish publishing house to update their author portraits, and one of the authors I was hired to shoot was a guy named Peter Barlach. A chance to better my last portrait of him taken couple of years back (when I honestly wasn’t that good at this).

Read more about the lighting setup and behind the scenes…

Simple one light clamshell setup for studio portraits and headshots using an Octa

When shooting a portrait session for the ad campaign I mentioned earlier on this blog, the 4-light clamshell portraits in black and white, I tried to reduce the setup to the bare minimum required to get a good portrait.

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Recently I shoot a couple of studio portraits for some ads, the client was a temp agency focused mainly on recruitment and staffing companies in the finance and banking sector. My assignment was to use their staff as models and create seven different photos all communicating the same thing – this might be the big company hotshots of tomorrow.

[Read the full post here…]