Studio Lighting

  • Shoot BreakdownsA woman in a red cloche hat with colorful beauty.

    Use an Accessory as the Creative Spark for a Creative Beauty Portrait

    Sometimes, the concept for a shot starts with an accessory, which was the case for this shot featuring an old-school cloche-style hat. loved this hat and the dark red color she brought to one of our practice sessions, but it is based on a style from the early 1900s.  I…

  • Shoot BreakdownsA woman with a colorful afro, radiating beauty in a captivating portrait - shoot breakdown

    How To Create a Colorful Beauty Portrait With a Truly Unique Hairstyle

    My goal was to create a colorful beauty portrait that showed off the unique hairstyle and ensured the subject was prominently featured. It is easy to get carried away with these images and wind up with an image about the style or the fu-fu, and the subject takes a backseat.

  • Shoot BreakdownsA woman wearing sunglasses poses amidst vibrant streams of red smoke, created by a smoke machine - shoot breakdown

    Create Colorful Beauty Portraits With a Handheld Smoke Machine

    The concept for this series of shots was to create fashion and beauty portraits using smoke and LOTS of bold colors. Smoke is a great way to generate interesting chaos, which can then be lit and colored in any number of ways to create mood and depth in the image.

  • Shoot BreakdownsA woman with a high ponytail showcasing her beauty in a portrait - shoot breakdown

    A Beauty Portrait with Gravity-Defying Hair

    The goal of a beauty portrait is to highlight the subject’s physical beauty. The challenge in adding the word ‘creative’ to the mix is that you don’t want the photo to become more about the photographer’s creativity than the subject’s beauty.

  • Photography Lighting TechniquesFour different pictures showcasing the beauty and lighting of a woman in white underwear.

    Easy Backlit Beauty Lighting Technique With 1, 2 or 3 Lights

    Beauty lighting behind the subject? I know you are thinking the title is wrong. Even in the film days, the inside of the Kodak boxes had the Daylight Lighting Table that explained that you should put the light behind the camera with the subject facing towards the light.  This backlit beauty lighting…

  • Photo Shoot TipsCalm in the middle of Chaos Cover

    Fashion Portraits with Movement

    Table of ContentsThe Creative Photography DilemmaCalm in the Middle of Chaos is all about movementDoes It Only Work With Fans?The Simple Trick To Keep Attention on My Subjects Face There are so many visual tools that photographers have available to influence the viewer’s experience with a photograph. Things like using…

  • Photo Shoot Tips

    How To Improve Your Portrait Lighting With a Circle and Some String

    Episode #221 of the TOGCHAT Photography Podcast - Recorded October 14th, 2020

  • Photography Lighting TechniquesThe Importance of Catchlights for Portraits

    The Importance of Catchlights for Portraits

    If you are going to shoot portraits, don’t overlook the importance of catchlights. They’re a small detail that can easily make or break your shot. So what’s the big deal about catchlights? Catchlights play an important role in creating dimension and depth and in adding life to a portrait by…

  • Photography GearGodox MS200 & MS300 Compact Studio Strobes

    Compact Studio Strobes – Godox MS200 & Godox MS300

    These are two extremely affordable studio strobes from Godox that a lot of photographers don’t know about. Certainly when we think of Godox flashes and strobe lighting we think of the AD200 Pocket flashes and the AD400 and AD600 studio strobes that run on lithium batteries. We know that Godox…

  • Photo Shoot TipsPhoto shoot with celebrity magician Matthew Furman

    Photo Shoot With Celebrity Magician Matthew Furman

    My tagline says I Shoot People and that’s exactly what keeps me motivated as a photographer. My camera is my ticket to meet and interact with people. People that I would otherwise never have the opportunity to experience. Throughout my career I’ve had the opportunity to photograph numerous magicians on…

  • Shoot BreakdownsA woman with vibrant and artistic makeup, creating fashion portraits that incorporate cellophane as a unique element - shoot breakdown

    Fashion Portraits With Cellophane

    I’m always on the lookout for things that I can drape around a model, or turn into an outfit, or place over a light source to change the color of the light, or even turn into a background. As a result, I make frequent trips to local fabric stores and…

  • Shoot BreakdownsA woman with stunning blue makeup and an elegant blue veil showcases a captivating fashion portrait - shoot breakdown

    Sci-Fi Inspired Four Light Fashion Portrait Tutorial

    What can we create with four strobes, some blue gels, a big fan, and a gorgeous model with incredible eyes? Two unique sci-fi fashion portraits. I’m going to show you how I did it and share with you why it’s important to emotionally LET GO of your work once you…

  • Photography GearInterfit Honey Badgers

    The Honey Badger by Interfit Photographic

    I was wrong. A few months back I wrote this article and told you that I thought the Paul C. Buff DigiBee was potentially the most underrated flash unit on the market. I was simply wrong — for a bunch of reasons that all involve the Interfit Honey Badger from…

  • DIY Photography TipsDIY Strip Light Modifier for Speedlights

    DIY Strip Light Modifier for Speedlights

    Grab your Jedi robes and your stuffed Ewoks, because I’m about to show you how to make a bigger, brighter, light saber than any of the ones you see in the Star Wars movies–perfect for photographing Princess Leia. These lightsabers are even daylight balanced and great for shooting portraits both…

  • Photography GearSmith Victor CooLED Lights

    Smith Victor CooLED Lights

    In this article- Part 4 of my LED light series- I’m gonna show you some lights from the Smith Victor CooLED series. These include three LED studio lights that look more like studio strobes that you can attach modifiers to like you do with a strobe. I’ll also add a…

  • Photo Shoot TipsSelf Portrait Tutorial

    Self Portrait Tutorial

    How I shot my self portrait for social media and my photography website The task: I got a new pair of glasses and that means it was time to update my profile photo for my website and social media. When shooting a portrait, ask yourself: WHO is the subject? Me!…

  • DIY Photography TipsDIY Christmas Light Portrait and Fairy Light Beauty Shot Ideas

    DIY Christmas Light Portraits

    When my wife made her annual pilgrimage to the Christmas in July sales, it got me to thinking about Christmas lights and wondering what kind of DIY Christmas light portraits and beauty shots I could do with some cheap LED lights. You know that when it comes to lighting portraits…

  • Photography Lighting TechniquesBeauty Dish Lighting from an Umbrella

    Beauty Dish Lighting from an Umbrella

    The irony of a beauty dish is that it makes harsh light that is not really that beautiful… unless, of course, you use it properly. I’ll break it down for you and even show you how to make your own very portable DIY Beauty dish for less than $7. Go…

  • Photography GearDigiBee DB800 by Paul C. Buff – The MOST Underrated Flash Unit on the Market for studio lighting

    DigiBee DB800 by Paul C. Buff

    I honestly think the Digibee – the DigiBee DB800 by Paul C. Buff, to be exact – is the most underrated flash unit on the market today. This DigiBee DB800 has been on the market for just about a year now and I will admit that I just started using…

  • DIY Photography TipsBeautiful Portrait Lighting Arrangements

    Portrait Lighting Arrangements With DIY LED Studio Lights

    Now that you have your own DIY LED studio lights- or you maybe you are planning to build a set-  you need to learn how to use it. I’ll walk you through a dozen different ways that I use these lights, plus I’ll give you some not-so-obvious tips that I…

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