Helping Photographers Understand the HOWS & WHYS behind Great Photography

Lighting

  • How to Shoot a DIRECT FLASH Glamour Shot or Beauty Portrait – Lighting Tutorial

    If you have tried using direct flash without any modifiers or, even worse yet, put a speed light on top of your camera and aimed it straight at your subject, or even if you haven’t, chances are you’ve heard that direct flash is not a good idea when you’re photographing people. It’s not flattering and…

  • Bikini Glamour Photography Shot with 4 lights and Orange Gels

    A few years back, I did this bikini glamour shot for a model’s portfolio. My goal was to do a bikini glamour shot with some personality and energy. Keep in mind, though, that in a commercial modeling portfolio, you don’t want the photos to be too sexy. Mainstream advertisers are actually pretty conservative, so modeling…

  • DIY Photography LED Studio Lights

    Studio lighting can be darn expensive. I’m going to walk you through the steps that I took to build my DIY Kino Flo lights with LED light bulbs for less than 300 dollars! About four years ago I posted a video about building a four light studio light setup with T12 fluorescent light bulbs. Three…

  • Best Studio Light Modifier: Softbox, Umbrella or Beauty Dish? Portrait Lighting Tutorial

    Softboxes, Umbrellas, Brolly Boxes, Parabolic Reflectors, Beauty Dishes… which light modifier should I use? Is it better to get silver or white? Which one should I buy first? In this article I’ll help you answer all those questions and more. Watch the VIDEO… I get lots of questions about lighting, and one of the most…

  • EASY Portrait Lighting – 3 Light arrangement that can also be used for a Beauty Shot

    A few years ago, I did a simple beauty shot with a three-light portrait lighting setup to help a young makeup artist build her portfolio as well as to help a young model add to her book. Watch the VIDEO… The Backstory I am frequently contacted by makeup artists and hair stylists as well as…

  • Create an awesome 1 Light Fashion Shot using two DIY Gobos

    Here’s a one light fashion shot that I did that you can do with a few DIY gobos and a speedlight or a monolight. Plus, I’ll show you how to make this work in almost any sized space. Watch the VIDEO… Did I just hear a bunch of people ask what the heck is a…

  • Studio Lighting Tutorial for AWESOME Glamour Lighting – Glamour Photography Tutorial

    I have a super simple two light fun and sexy glamour lighting setup that puts all the light behind the model.  Yes – I said behind the model. I was a child of the 1960’s and one of my absolute favorite sets of photos is a group of black and white images of Marilyn Monroe…

  • Beauty Portrait Lighting Setup with One Light & Reflector for Dramatic Portraits and Model Shots

    I have a really simple one light portrait lighting set-up that I use for beauty shots and dramatic portraits. I’ll walk you through it and show you how you can add more lights and gels to turn this simple arrangement into a bold and colorful set-up. Watch the VIDEO… Are you tired of hearing me…

  • Creative Shutter Drag Technique Using Flash And Ambient Light

    Shutter drag or dragging the shutter is a flash technique. You can do it with speedlights or monolights and it can be used in a studio or on location, depending on the circumstances and the results that you’re after. I’m going to show you some images that use this technique, plus I’m going to throw…

  • DIY Gobos

    Did you know that a dog toy, a toddler’s wheelbarrow, a house plant, a can of cheap hair spray and even a roll of toilet paper could be some of the best accessories you could own for shooting portraits and models? They can be used as gobos! You’re probably thinking I have taken this DIY…

  • Direct Flash Glamour Lighting Tutorial.

    Somewhere in the learning curve of lighting and photographing beautiful women, photographers are taught that direct flash sucks and you should never use it. Yet, ironically, magazines like Maxim publish several covers a year shot with one light direct flash and the model or celebrity standing in front of a white wall. Here, I’ll be…

  • White Background Lighting technique with a softbox or OctoDome.

    I love white backgrounds for portraits, headshots, and beauty shots. Here, I’ll be walking you through a simple and quick technique to get a pure white background for portraits or product shots. It requires minimal gear, it’s portable, and you can use it in tight space. Read on and I’ll even show you an easy way…

  • Learn portrait lighting with 3D software.  Studio Lighting Tutorial with set.a.light 3D

    Have you ever found yourself wanting to practice your portrait lighting techniques, but you don’t have a subject available?  Do you get nervous when you are shooting someone, because you are afraid that if you run into a problem with your lighting, your subject will lose faith in you?  You’re not alone – these are…

  • One Light Portrait Lighting for AWESOME Portraits & Headshots

    Great lighting is not the result of owning lots of lights. Great light comes from learning to see light.  I want to show you how you can create some awesome one light portrait lighting for portraits and headshots! Watch the VIDEO… Every single day, I receive messages asking about lighting. So over the course of…

  • How to shoot a casual portrait or headshot with one light and one modifier

    The casual portrait is taken in a studio… Which is not exactly a casual setting… So what does it really mean? For me it starts with an attractive subject, photographed in simple casual clothing, in a relaxed posture with simple, flattering light. Watch the VIDEO… This is a shot that I would do a variation of frequently…

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