Test Shoot of Portrait Lighting

Recently I did a studio photoshoot with Hanna, an experienced model. I was experimenting with a number of lighting setups. In the first image, above, Hanna was fairly close to a large softbox to camera left, and we had a light on an umbrella behind her as well.

Hanna six

In this image, we use two lights as well, but they are set at a wider angle to the camera sightline, so that, with the black background, there is a contrasty, dramatic feel to the image. With all of these pictures, we are photographing Hanna with bare shoulders, for a classic look that is not dated by any particular clothes.

Hanna five

This is a more traditional lighting setup, with just one light. We used a “beauty dish,” above the camera aiming down at about a 45 degree angle to Hanna. A white foamcore board was under her chin, just out of sight, to bounce a bit of light back into her face. This is a soft, flattering look.

Hanna four

Back to just one light in this picture, at camera left. After converting the image to black and white, I added a very slight blue tint to the photograph.

Hanna four Props can add interest to a portrait. The parasol is a new toy in the studio and frames Hanna’s face. The blue color contrasts nicely with her skintones.

The last image, below, uses a ringlight, a circular, donut-shaped light, with the camera shooting right through the center. Notice the circular catchlights.

Thanks, Hanna, for a great shoot! These test shoots help me to develop my skills and explore new ways to light and pose portraits.

Working both in the studio and on location, photographer Blake Robinson serves the Connecticut communities of Darien, New Canaan, Stamford, Norwalk, Westport and Greenwich.

 “Individual, Indelible, Iconic Images”

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