61. Instant business portrait

In this business portrait photography class Karl demonstrates a lighting setup that is quick and simple, suitable for both studio and location work.

Using just two lights, Karl explains how to get the most from each light and how to balance them for the most pleasing results. Clearly explaining each step of the shoot, Karl explains his lighting setup, power ratio and camera settings to help provide clearer understanding.

To conclude the class, Karl shows you how this setup is also perfect if you were working at an office shooting against a white wall and how you could enhance the setup by adding an additional light.

In this portrait photography class we cover the following:

  • Portrait photography: Business portraits
  • How to take business portraits using two studio lights
  • Backgrounds for business portraits
  • Camera settings for business portrait photography
  • How to create soft light for business portraits
  • How to photograph against a white wall
  • How to photograph in a small studio

For further examples on lighting setups for business portraits and headshots, make sure to watch our live show.

NOTE: This course is available with English subtitles.


  1. Hi Karl,
    I do like the light from the scrim better than the softbox. Next time would you please make the scrim light be the main instead of fill.

  2. I love the use of a collapsible back drop. I shall invest in one. I use the X drop system now and this would be even quicker. Just a collapsible and a stand. Great advice for a quick business portrait setup. I’ve done a business portrait shoot even simpler ( one light) in a dentist office lobby. The window was a large store front window with a frosted coating simulating a scrim. I bounced the one light to create the soft box simulation. I only did it though because the conditions were there to accommodate it so having options is a must, as those conditions don’t always exist.

  3. Hi Karl,

    How much would you charge for corporate portraits? maybe if its a group of people for each, depending on a number

  4. great stuff I was interested to hear your comment about large pupil size as I am aware some photographers specifically aim for smallest pupils in the subjects eyes in order to show the largest area of colour – do you have any direction on this in your experience of clients expectations?

    1. Hi John, I don’t like the small pupil as it invokes the sense of being in bright outdoor light which will not look natural to the lighting you have created. Also anthropologists and sociologists agree that humans perceive a large pupil as a message of attraction.

  5. Hi Karl

    I did my 1st business headshot job yesterday. It went well, both the client and I were extremely pleased with the outcome.
    Your course taught me almost everything I needed to put to work for this simple 1st paid job, from beginning to end, with a lot practice in between.
    I cannot tell you enough how satisfying it was for me to earn that 1st cheque by doing something I love.
    I’m learning so much from these tutorials – I highly recommend this course to anyone who, like me, wants to expand a passion into an additional source of income.
    I will continue to cover all the modules, and then repeat them regularly, with continued practice…. I realise have a long way to go.

    Thank you!

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