Simple Lighting Techniques For Portrait Photography
Posted on March 17 2016
Spring portraits... Does just the sound of it bring you back to when you were in grade school? Your parents laying out the clothes they wanted to see you photographed in, your hair styled just right, looking very lady-like or dapper. Welcome to flowers blooming, birds chirping, and new Spring pictures!
Not all photographers have shoots during the day and even though the sun has been staying up later, studio lighting is still necessary. Whether you’re a product photographer who is consumed with projects at night or you’re a portrait photographer who needs to be able to run your business rain or shine - you need to be able to work (even if the sun is done for the day).
3 Tips to Improve Your Shot
Having a shoot at 9PM, what are you to do? Such a situation arose for Lauren Streiff, a wedding and portrait photographer, who stole some time away from the wedding march to share some photography tricks about why you should add a strobe and an octagon softbox to your studio, like, yesterday:
1. Natural Light? Not Necessary!
Be in control of when you get creative! With just one StudioPRO SD-300 Monolight, and only one StudioPRO Octagon Umbrella Softbox, editing took no time at all while producing beautiful images like the ones seen below! Also, with just these few key items in your gear bag, traveling from shoot to shoot is a breeze.
2. Consistency is in Your Hands
When you’re creating a series of photos - think product photography, food photography and fashion portraiture - consistency is key when it comes to branding and having a cohesive look. If you are a slave to the sun (which is constantly moving) producing consistent images can be challenging. Why live that life when instead you can create consistent images day or night without fighting your equipment? By not relying solely on natural light, you are in control of your light source and can shoot consistently.
3. Be a Master of Opportunity
If you’re thinking “well, I’ll just never shoot when there isn’t sun and I’ll just always take the time while shooting to make adjustments and fix everything else in post” then that route is always an option...or you can keep an extra light stand, strobe and softbox with you and be able to shoot wherever you want. Streiff says, "Being able to clean up color casts and inopportune lighting by adding a strobe and softbox to your shot allows you to make ideal light when it doesn’t exist." Fun tip: when you are done editing, Streiff says "try black and white for a more classic look!"
One Thing Before I Go
You would never know these professional portraits were done in a living room! Play with your contrast and find the right level of drama for your shot. You can accomplish this while shooting by changing the strength of the monolight or while editing. Streiff has proven to us that you do not always need a lot of studio space to have fun with studio equipment!
Lauren Streiff is the photographer and Disneyland-aholic behind Lunabear Studios. Based out of Arizona, Lauren strives to produce colorful images that showcase the fun and laughter of life. Lunabear Studios, named after Lauren’s corgi Luna, is a wedding and portrait photography studio that helps its clients preserve their memories through photos all while having an awesome time doing it! When Lauren isn’t meeting with brides or planning portrait sessions, she can be found binge watching her favorite sitcom, Parks & Recreation.