Posing and lighting technique


Posing and lighting technique - posing in relation to the lighting

When taking a portrait, the pose needs to suit the lighting. And vice versa, the lighting needs to be done in relation to the intended pose. Especially so when the lighting is dramatic. This is such a key idea - lighting and posing are tightly correlated. Started again: you pose the participants in  Read more inside...

How to position off-camera flash

How to position off-camera flash

How to position off-camera flash

One of the most frequent (but easily corrected) mistakes I see when photographers use off-camera flash, is that they didn't position the flash in relation to their subject. They simply place the flash to the side (and often at a too-extreme 90 degree angle from their own position), with the flash too low in height. Your subject's  Read more inside...

Off-camera flash: rim-lighting and using flare


Off-camera flash: rim-lighting and the intentional use of flare

For these promotional photos for aspiring model twins, Carina and Carolina, we went to a park. There are certain things I look for when working on an location, that I know will immediately give me a better chance at successful portraits.  My book, Lighting and Design for Portrait Photography, looks at  Read more inside...

Portrait lighting setup – Chiaroscuro


Portrait lighting setup - Chiaroscuro

Chiaroscuro is defined as the use of strong contrasts between light and dark - bold contrasts affecting a whole composition. Chiaroscuro in an Italian phrase meaning Light and Dark. Chiaro = Light; Scuro = Dark. In Film Noir, there are many examples of the use of Chiaroscuro, enhancing the mood. Here though, we're going to look  Read more inside...

Best softbox for on-location headshot photography

on-location lighting gear for headshots and portraits

Best portable softbox for on-location headshot photography

I vary the lighting kit that I use for on-location portraits and headshot photography. It could involve multiple lights, or a single-light setup on location. My choice of lighting is most often decided by how complex it need to be, and the logistics of getting to the location and setting up. More than  Read more inside...

Posing people: Tips for improving your portrait photos

posing people: tips for improving your portrait photos

Posing people: Tips for improving your portrait photos

Throughout the numerous articles on the Tangents blog, I'm often asked about how I go about posing people. I've described some of it in the article, adjusting a pose with incremental changes. Instead of a traditional way of posing, it's mostly a "feel" thing, looking at my subject and seeing if there are elements  Read more inside...

Flash photography tutorial: balancing flash and ambient exposure

flash photography tutorial: balancing flash and ambient exposure

Flash photography tutorial: balancing flash and ambient exposure

This topic - balancing flash and ambient exposure - seems to one that many newer photographers struggle with. The big hurdle seems to be the basic starting point - how do you decide on the exposure for each? I'd like to explore this topic a bit with this post. The trigger for this was a question that  Read more inside...

Creative portrait photography on location

creative portrait photography on location

Creative portrait photography on location - allowing opportunities to happen

There was an interesting challenge for me during a recent individual photography workshop in NYC - Don (who arranged the workshop), already knew the essentials of lighting techniques, and said what he really wanted was insight into the way that I see a photo before I take it.  How do I know  Read more inside...

Portrait photography & Studio lighting – influences & inspiration

portrait photography & studio lighting

Portrait photography & Studio lighting - inspire your own style

I keep a folder of Inspiration images to which I often add interesting photos shot by other photographers. This serves as an ideas folder. There are hundreds upon hundreds of images. I add to this Inspiration folder, and I also discard images over time as my own style and what I want to work towards,  Read more inside...