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Profoto Strip Softbox


Hanna is a Swedish jazz singer, and she contacted me for updated headshots and publicity portraits. After a quick search on Google, I saw that she already had a lot of good portraits, but mostly outdoor and in natural light.

So I prepared a lighting setup in my studio using my new Profoto Giant 180 reflector as main light, in this portrait quite close (just look at the big catchlights).

With the fantastic focused light from my new favorite lighting modifier, despite its size, the facial features got the right amount of contrast in my taste. Especially highlighting the cheekbones nicely.

Profoto Giant and two rim lights


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…


Recently I was asked by an actor to shoot some headshots for him that he could use to promote himself with. Good portraits are always a good start, and I started as usual with a much more complicated lighting setup but removed light after light until there only were two left.

We did a lot of different portraits that session, and I will probably show them later, this post is about this setup which can easily be modified in small steps to produce a good range of portraits, just by adjusting some angles and moving the main light a little bit. I always like to deliver variation.

More portraits and a diagram here…

Business portrait on blue background

I mostly shoot studio portraits on a neutral background, from white to grey and sometimes black. And that is what my supply of background paper rolls consists of, one super white, one medium neutral grey and one black.

When a consulting company contacted me and wanted business portraits on blue background I first thought I had to buy more background paper, but later I chose a simpler solution. As they needed just half length shots, I used a reflector frame with blue fabric and a couple of clamps to get the surface reasonably even.

Click for Behind the scenes and lighting diagram…

Portraiture, half-length portrait of gentleman shot in my photo studio, black and white. Photographer Stefan Tell

Most of my portrait photography features a smiling face, or at least someone working hard not to look too grim and serious. But, sometimes someone comes into my photo studio in Stockholm and does exactly the opposite.

The gentleman in this case works as a business consultant and he is a very nice guy, but he doesn’t smile for the camera. Nope. And I like that, you don’t have to smile. Most lawyers never do that, for example.

The lighting setup in my studio used three Profoto Compacts and I developed all portraits in Lightroom including the black and white conversion. And added some final touches in Photoshop.

This was the short version.

Read the long, detailed version with diagram and all…