Boise Portrait Photography – In the Studio: Portraits and Lighting

I have spent a great deal of time posting about my outdoor work and really have neglected studio work.  As I have said before, I really enjoy studio work but it’s my personal preference to be in different locations just for the additional challenges that creates for me.  That said, the creativity you can achieve in the studio is fantastic and shouldn’t be ignored!

Because studio portraits are 100% dependent upon  your lighting scheme, I’m going to post examples but also include a simple diagram to help you understand the technique I used.

Studio: Example 1

My first example is Model Michelle wearing a very colorful and playful outfit.  I wanted to capture a nice reflection but wanted it to be real.  I think Photoshop artistry is fantastic, but if I can accomplish the effect without having to do a lot of Photoshop I’m all for that!

For all my flooring I use a couple sheets of Lexan to cover my seamless backgrounds to save on wear, but also it gives a nice glossy reflection.  I had just purchased a new sheet of Lexan before this shoot so I thought I’d take advantage of the pristine plastic to get a shot.

Lighting was a single mono-light directly over camera on a boom at roughly 30 degrees to the model.  I also had a 20 degree grid on the mono-light.

The background was ultra-bright white seamless paper.

The vignette effect was due to the grid only.  No after effect was done to get that effect.  Some minor Photoshop for skin and that’s it!

I like this because it’s simple and really shows that even with a single light you can achieve a great result.

The diagram below shows you the simple setup to achieve this capture.  The light was on a boom above the camera at about 30 degrees down angle.

Lighting Scheme Example 1

Studio: Example 2

My next example is a much more complex studio shot with multiple lights.

This is a four light setup as diagrammed below.

I wanted to keep this shot high key so I needed a bright white, uniform background to make the model “pop”.  The white cushion needed to blend to the background as well.  I needed to get some dimension so the key was to have enough difference in the main light to the fill as to create a little shadow but just enough to create the dimension.

The minimalist and modern furniture shows just enough but not enough to cause a distraction.

Lighting Scheme Example 2

I’ll demonstrate other lighting techniques in future posts.  Hopefully you find it helpful and remember…Professionals know how to use the light, amateurs may not!

Thanks for reading and contact me with questions or to book a session!

Cheers!  Don