Single Light Portraits

I’re read about this a million times online and seen tons of unbelievable images. I have gone to Barnes and Nobles, sat with a latte, and read “Single Light Portraits” cover to cover more times than I’d care to admit. Every time I got up and got to my car I’d sit there… wondering how the hell I would tackle this. The thing I had a hard time getting over was that I didn’t like the style of the portraits in the book. Even though I knew they were technically correct.

I spend lots of time scanning Instagram, a close friend turned me onto a photographer that lives about 4 hours away. I went through his profile and started talking to him, and he told me that he shot most of the corporate head shots with a single light.

I. was. blown. away.

All his stuff was super consistent. Super natural looking. Exactly what I wanted to be doing. So I grabbed some friends and a light, headed to a location, and started trying it out.

So a few things before I forget… Its important to shoot a longer lens, like an 85mm or something close to that. (I only have my 70-200 f2.8) so I’ve been using that. Set the aperture at something that wont blur the entire face with the depth of field,  Shooting at 1/125 (minimum) to kill the ambient light, and have the light at a distance no greater than the diameter of your modifier. The awesome thing about these tips is that you only have to play with the lights power, and your ISO. Even then the light is kinda constant too. I started at something around 1/32nd power. As the sun disappeared I only raised my ISO a stop at a time. So Im glad that he shared the info with me, and now I shared it with you… whoever you are.

Thanks for reading.

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