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Mark1616 May 13, 2007 12:39 PM

Hi guys and girls,

As many of you know I'm an avid reasonably successful sports shooter but I know little/nothing about lighting/portraits.

I'm going to be borrowing my friends 2 light setup (soft boxes) and backdrop so I can shoot portraits at a charityfund raising ball in July and would like advice on the light setup and poses/positioning/expressions for the people. I'm guessing shots will with either individuals, couples or possibly small groups (up to 4 people).

Can you please let me know your suggestions to make this successful (if possible post examples so I can see what you are talking about)?

I've been shooting long enough to know that practise is essential so will use the setup before the day so I can sort everything out (well as far as possible) to take the guesswork out of it so people are happy with the results.

Thanks for all your assistance.


beltandbraces Aug 26, 2007 10:31 AM


Try one hair light from above and slightly behind the subjcet, as this willl also provide some backlighting to the shoulders...

Place your second light roughly 45 degrees on the preferred side, just above head height of the subjcet...

for the fill in....quite simply use either a large sheet of white card,,,or, a large sheet of 2" thick white ploystyrene which you can pick up cheap as chips from any builders yard at a fraction ofthe cost of professional product.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"Lighting Balance:...........the hair light should generally be twice as strong as the side light get the fill in balance right....just take a few test shots moving the large white reflector backward and forwrads until you get the balalnce your prefer for your subject....this gives a nice natural look to the portrait and is a trick I used for 20 years as a professional many years ago....

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"camera positioning...a very very basic rule is for male portraitss the camera should be just below eye level, and, for female portraits a litte above eye level for the most flattering results....................good luck and happy shooting

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"Mike from UK

Aug 26, 2007 3:23 PM

Mark1616 Aug 26, 2007 7:46 PM

Thanks guys this shoot went OK and results canbe seen in this thread;forum_id=5

I still have loads to learn and need to find the time to get the lights set up again for a play. Will check out the suggestions.

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