In this portrait photography class Karl uses three basic modifiers to create a high key, fresh punchy style image that you often see used for pop art or album covers.
The lighting consisted of two silver umbrellas and one deep focus umbrella and is a setup you can easily try yourself if you’ve been looking for creative portrait inspiration.
- Learn how to create fresh, punchy lighting for portrait photography
- Demonstrate and explain three light setups with basic modifiers
- Learn how to create and control rim lighting
- Understand camera setting and lighting ratios
- How to control light and shadows with hard or soft light
In addition to the lighting setup, there were two other elements I had to consider for this shoot to be a success:
- Outfit choice
I knew my lighting would consist of two silver umbrellas placed either side of my background, facing towards camera to create a rim light around my model. I then used the Broncolor deep focus umbrella as my fill light. This choice of modifier meant I’d have greater control over the hardness or softness of the shadows under the model’s chin.
I placed my background close behind the background lights, which meant the light spilling onto it created a soft pastel pink color. I knew the nature of this setup meant that initially my lighting wouldn’t be even, but I could control that by adjusting the angle of my background, lights or model.
For the outfit I asked my model to wear a strapless top with her hair off the shoulders, slicked back so that the neck and shoulders were visible. This allowed me to make the most of the rim lighting, which was a key part of the shot.
Once my background was secured and my model was in position, I started working on my lighting. The trick here was to balance my rim lighting with my fill light. I spent some time doing this, experimenting with different lighting ratios as well as the hardness or softness of the deep focus umbrella.
This setup may be quick and easy to set up, but the nature of the modifiers means you’ll be able easily control the look and feel of the final image. It uses affordable modifiers and doesn’t require a great amount of space, which means you can easily try it yourself.
The final image:
If you’re interested in more portrait photography ideas, I’ve put together a selection of our most popular class below.
- One light portrait setup —Simulating sunlight
- Two light portrait setup — Stunning soft and contoured lighting
- Three light portrait setup —Strong, bold and dynamic
- Understanding the emotion of light
If you have any questions about this class, please post in the comments section below.
Note: This photography class is available with English subtitles.