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Business portrait using only available light from windows

Light is nothing we take for granted here in Sweden, but during this season assignments that might would have required a couple of studio lights, light stands, reflectors and a big bag can be done with just a camera.

The portrait of a business woman (above) was taken for the cover of a magazine late last summer, she is a professional board member and was featured in an article covering her skills and experience.

My job was to create a portrait that could be used on the cover, preferably with and uncluttered background so the magazine designer could place design elements around it without disturbing the portrait too much.

[Read the full post here…]

Behind the scenes, portrait photography using reflector to reflect har sunlight sunlight indoors

When shooting portraits for a law firm in Stockholm recently I found that one of them was very interested in film making and he asked me about photography, lighting and especially about the large reflector I used for his portrait (a 1 by 2 meter large frame with white and silver/gold fabric).

portrait-indoors-using-hard-reflected-sunlight-via-reflectorWhen talking about reflectors and film making, it is very easy to mention movies made in the sixties and seventies.

I have a two year old son and he loves to watch the old Astrid Lindgren movies, especially Saltkråkan which is shot on a small island in the Stockholm archipelago, mostly in the summer with clear blue skies.

And they used reflectors a lot. Almost every shot shows the wiggling reflections that can only come from someone standing near the actors, trying to reduce the hard shadows from the sun with a large reflector, often with a silvery or golden surface.

Just for fun, I got the chance to try lighting him with just the hard light coming from a window, and reflected, a bit like when you reflect the sun in a watch or a knife, making spots of light on the wall (or maybe in someones eye). In Sweden we call that “solkatt” (“sun cat” if you translate it directly). Maybe not the easiest light for a model to handle, at least not when it comes from an angle straight into the eyes.

But, this was just an experiment just for fun, if I would try it again, I would probably use a better light stand, maybe a boom, so I can make the light come from above a little more, now it just makes him squint.