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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…

copying-the-style-of-an-old-portrait

Recently a guy contacted me on Facebook and asked if I wanted to help him with a challenging portrait he wanted to make. It was a portrait of his grandfather when he was in the Swedish Air Force.

My client is working in the military as well, but the Army, and this is now around 80 years later. So there are differences in uniforms and especially how portraits look.

But that was the fun in it, trying to emulate old portrait lighting with a little (maybe a bit more) retouch to make it look like they had been to the same studio photographer in the 30’s.

How I did it, step by step…

headshot-portrait-Profoto-Giant-180-black-background

One thing I probably have mentioned before is how I love to start a photo session with one lighting setup and then adjust it here and there to produce the most variation in a short time.

When I shot publicity portraits for a Swedish jazz singer we started with a Profoto Giant 180 as the main light, but varied the background and rim lights to achieve different looking results.

Three lights and black background…

corporate-portrait-of-woman-using-two-lights-Profoto-Giant-180-strip-softbox-grid

I recently bought a Profoto Giant 180 reflector used from another Swedish photographer and since then it finds its way into most of my studio portraits, sometimes as my main and only light, but also as a great fill light for full length or less.

This time I was contacted by Nina, working as a corporate lawyer needing new portraits for an article a magazine were about to publish about her and her company.

We did most of the portraits in my small photo studio, starting with white background but later on I switched to a different lighting setup where the Giant went from main to fill.

A Giant, a grid and a softbox…

studio-portrait-with-smoke-machine-profoto-d1-beautydish

This is some examples from my first portrait session using a smoke machine in the photo studio, the assignment was to create some band photos for a friend. The two guys, with beards and all, liked the idea of having some kind of haze in their photos, so I got to try how a little smoke can add an extra dimension to portraits.

My studio is quite small, but using smoke removed that feeling from the portraits right away. Or after a while, if I should be correct. At first, the smoke from the machine is a very visible part of the portraits, but after a short while it settles to a nice fog, making the studio space endless and very much a living part of the photos.

A more cinematic feel to studio lighting…