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Shooting portraits in full sunlight can be a challenge, or fantastic, or a fantastic challenge. Using the natural light while being in the shadow is often a good recipe for nice portrait lighting, but what if the location is on a rooftop, with no shadow?

For this assignment of producing a magazine cover as well as some portraits for the article about these two experts on working with board of directors, I brought only one Profoto B1 together with some umbrellas and a large 5 foot softbox Octa.

One light can often be enough…

Portrait lit with two lights, one flash through window for hard sunlight effect. Profoto zoom reflector

Sometimes the idea how to light a portrait, on-location or in the studio, comes naturally. Mostly on-location, I must confess, as the studio often is the dreaded blank white paper that can induce some kind of lighter’s block in me.

Anyway, this was an assignment for a large Swedish publishing house and they wanted new author portraits, or headshots, of the famous Ulf Nilsson. He was kind enough to let me use his apartment in the Old Town of Stockholm as a studio for the day. He is also my brother-in-law (altough none of us are married to the ones we are living with, yet). The apartment is quite spectacular, and has a very special layout which made this shot possible. I didn’t even need a ladder.

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Here comes the sun. Soon.

February 28, 2012 · 0 comments

Outdoor portrait with reflector and diffusion panel in sunlight

This is just a reminder that soon a lot of my assignments can be done with just a reflector and a diffusion panel. And not having to freeze while taking a stiff portrait of some poor guy or girl outside in the cold just to use the little natural light that might be available around lunch just before it gets dark again.


Sunlight is very hard to beat when it comes to lighting a portrait, and even if you surround your models with stands and screens, they are a lot more relaxed out in the open than they are in the studio.

I really look forward to be able to work with sunlight again.


The woman in the photo above is a very well known Swedish singer, Louise Hoffsten, and she is collaborating with a writer and an illustrator to create a children’s book with a soundtrack (on a CD).

I usually don’t take pictures of celebrities, they might be well known in their field, but not in general. So this was new to me, a little bit exciting as well. Would she be nice, or a diva?

It turned out fine, she was very nice and liked having her picture taken. We started in my photo studio for some simple headshots and later moved outside for some outdoor portraits. And with the grey weather and overcast sky, a Chimera reflector panel with silver fabric was the key to getting good looking portraits without dark eye sockets.

A silver reflector makes all the difference on cloudy days…

Shaun Tan, winner of the ALMA award 2011 in Stockhom

Shaun Tan is the Australian illustrator and winner of the ALMA award (The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award) 2011, this week he is in Stockholm a couple of days, then off to Munich, Lillehammer and Vimmerby. After that, back again for more events, interviews and finally the ceremony were he will recieve the award from H.R.H. Crown Princess Victoria.

My job is to produce press photos from all the events in Stockholm this year for the award office and their PR department. We started today on a small island in the middle of Stockholm called Skeppsholmen, photographing portraits in different locations of the island.

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