The Thoughtful Photographer Blog

Behind the scenes lighting setup for the Sci-fi Geisha Girl shoot

Sci-fi Geisha Girl! That’s the name that my makeup artist gave to her latest creation. Let’s take a peak behind the scenes at my lighting setup and I will show you how we did this beauty shot. Let me start out by saying that this is one of those pictures that an honest photographer will […]

Backlit Beauty Lighting Set-up for Portraits and Beauty Shots

Category: Lighting

Let’s take a look at how we can make a really cool portrait or beauty shot by putting ALL of the light BEHIND the subject.  (scratch)  Wait…. Did I say behind?  Ok.. we’ll make it work. If you have read any books or taken a class about studio lighting, you have had your head stuffed […]

DIY Reflector from Walmart

Let’s take a look at this DIY reflector from Walmart. Bet you didn’t know that Walmart sold professional lighting accessories. If you’ve read many of my previous articles or attended my workshops, you have heard me talk about the Walmart Reflector. It is simply a 30” x 20” piece of white foam board that you […]

What is a beauty shot?

This is a Beauty Shot… …and this is a beauty shot …and this is a beauty shot One of my favorite things to shoot is Beauty. Just the other day I received an email from a young photographer who has been following my work and she asked me if I could explain what makes a […]

Monopod Aerials – A cool and easy trick

Using a monopod we can take a shot like this… (notice the bottom of the building is cut off) and turn it into this… Or we can go from this… to this… No ladder required. The technique is very simple… Extend your monopod to its full length… Mount your camera with a wide-angle lens. In […]

Four Studio Strobes And Gels Create A Dramatic Lighting Setup

Category: Lighting

In the last few weeks I have had an opportunity during a few portfolio shoots as well as a weekend Beauty and Glamour Photography Workshop to do some more advanced studio lighting setups, something that I usually avoid because when I am shooting a modeling portfolio it is important that the photos don’t sell my […]

Three Studio Lights And A White Room = High Key Lighting

Category: Lighting

  I have been getting a lot of requests to show lighting diagrams of my studio set-ups. So I will do my best to generate diagrams and also shoot behind the scenes shots of the set-ups in the future. This set-up is a high key lighting set-up that uses three studio strobes (Yes – you […]

Fluorescent Studio Lighting – Follow-up

Category: Lighting

I have received an incredible response from the article and video series that I produced last year about the DIY Fluorescent Studio Lighting Set-up. I have also received TONS of questions about the fixtures and how to use them so it is time to write a quick follow-up to pass along some very helpful information […]

How NOT to Shoot a Self-Portrait – With One Light

Category: Behind The Scenes

Radio DJ’s often say that they have a face made for Radio. Hence the reason they aren’t on Television. (Unless your name is Ryan Seacrest) There is a reason I work behind the camera, I simply hate having my picture taken.  Probably because I am never happy with what I see in the finished result. […]

2 Light – Dramatic Beauty Shot

Category: Lighting

If you have been following my blog or my YouTube Videos you have heard me state over and over again… “Keep It Simple!” With that in mind here is a recent Beauty shot lighting technique that I did at the end of a modeling portfolio shoot. I did the shot with just 2 flash heads […]

DIY Studio Lighting -No Flicker Fluorescents – CHEAP!

Category: Lighting

Who said that hi-end lighting equipment has to be expensive? And who says the only way to shoot with fluorescent light is to use the flicker-free kino-flo lights that can cost you thousands of dollars? I began using this fluorescent lighting technique nearly 10 years ago, long before kino-flo’s and Peter Hurley became popular. I […]

It’s not how you fail… It’s what you do with the failure

I recently stumbled on a short blog post by marketing guru Seth Godin titled: “The difference between a failure and a mistake” Mr. Godin in 4 short paragraphs reminds us that: “A failure is a project that doesn’t work” “A mistake is either a failure repeated or a misguided attempt.” “Failures make us bolder and […]