Feminine portraits with dramatic flair
Still exploring what the Profoto Spot Small light modifier can do in creating dramatic studio portraits, I had Lauren sit in for some test shots. I was curious to see if I could use this hard light source in a way that still work for a feminine portrait and be flattering. The best option so far for me is to add supplemental light that softens the overall harder lighting or the spot light. By adjusting the power on the big octabox behind me – see the pull-back shot below – I was able to control the contrast.
This way I could still retain the overall mood of the lighting. I could keep it dramatic, but soften the contrast be how much I pulled up the power on the
The main light here with this photo session was the Profoto Spot Small (with a Profoto D1 studio flash.) I used other flashes and modifiers to soften and enhance the stark light from that spotlight.
Previous posts about this light modifier:
• Dramatic portrait & headshot lighting in the studio
• Dramatic studio lighting with the Profoto Spot Small
As with the portrait of Andy, I found that adding additional lights helped make it a more nuanced portrait. With these photos of Lauren, I love how the detail in her hair barely comes out – just enough to separate her from the background. Yet the same light on her red top makes for a bold frame around her body. The same rim lighting helped bring out detail on her hands as well. And still there is that eye-catching spot of light on her face. More adventures in lighting to come!
Camera settings & photo gear used
- f/5.6 @ 200 ISO @ 1/125
- Canon EOS 6D (B&H / Amazon)
- Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L II (B&H / Amazon)
- Profoto Spot Small as main light
- (3x) Profoto D1 500Ws studio flashes (B&H / Amazon)
- (2x) Profoto 2×3 RFi softbox (B&H / Amazon) for rim-lighting
- Profoto 5-ft RFi Octa Softbox (B&H / Amazon) for fill light.
- Dramatic portrait & headshot lighting in the studio (actor: Andy Peeke)
- Dramatic studio lighting with the Profoto Spot Small (Cut Like This)
- video: Creative studio portrait session – two perspectives
- Studio photography – Posing & Lighting (model: Claudia)
- Dramatic portraits: Hollywood Portrait Lighting (model: Kim Jay)