Posts tagged as:

Studio lighting


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…

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…

I have been a happy Profoto user a couple of years now, and it feels I am just getting the hang of it, trying to use different light modifiers for different results (and trying to master some of their products, not buying every modifier in their catalog, even if it is very tempting).

Apart from just looking at other photographers images, I learn a lot from studying studio lighting setup diagrams (and trying to do a lot of them myself as well), and watching lighting video guides when I have the time (and patience, some of them are very diluted and far from easy to understand).

Profoto did a series of short movies when they released their new monobloc series, D1 (250, 500, 1000 + Air), some time ago. In my opinion, they are exactly as I want video guides to be. Short, informative and with the very good narrator and photographer Tony Corbell. And they really makes me want to buy a couple.

Here are four different videos, each explaining one setup, together with the resulting images (it seems they haven’t done any retouching at all, which is good in many ways I think).

[Read the full post here…]

Actress headshot. Portrait of Swedish actress taken in photo studio. Clamshell lighting explained with diagram

Recently I helped an actress in Sweden with some headshots for her promotion material. The main idea was to take a couple of portraits in my studio without a lot of makeup and retouching, just her face, clean and simple.

As she has a calm face with a strong bone structure I opted for a classic clamshell lighting to focus on her eyes. Her black clothing and hair framed it nicely I think.

[Read the full post here…]