Mariel Gomsrud Magazine Headshot

How do I shoot a clean head shot that looks like it’s out of the pages of a magazine like Harper’s Bazaar. I always have a good laugh when I read or hear about portrait photographer who will say that they only work with natural light. What they are saying is that they don’t know how to use lights in a studio, don’t be one of these guys! Now I have many setup’s for shooting a beauty/fashion head shot in the studio. I will talk today about a 2-light setup. Yes, you will only need 2-lights to do this. I start with the main light that is placed onto a boom stand so that I can have the light hanging down in front of the face. This way the stand is not in the way of the face or camera. Once you have this set-up so that the reflection of the light will show up in the eyes of the model you are in the right spot. Next, I will place a silver card or a white card under the chin of the model just low enough not to be seen in the camera. This way the light coming out of the light on the boom stand onto the face is now being bounced back under the face. This will soften the shadows under the nose, eyes and chin of the model by filling in with light. If you wish you can also place white cards on each side of the face.      Now you have that light set up its time to think about the white backdrop behind...

Tasha Reign Circus Tent II

When investing in a custom made backdrop for a shoot it’s great if you can get to use it more then once. But you don’t want all your shots looking the same on that background if you have used it before on another shoot, unless you are doing pickups for a catalog and you need to have the images looking the same as the last time you shot on that backdrop. So here is a tip! "Keep notes or a diagram of your lighting setups". In these shots of sexy actress & Penthouse Pet® Tasha Reign I use the same backdrop I had use for a shoot with Playboy® Playmate Barbara Moore “The Circus Tent” I wanted to use another lighting technique with Tasha so I would not have them looking the same as my shoot with Barbara. Using a ring light and a soft box as my fill light it would give me a different look. I would use the same adjustment I had used for the string of lights that would hang down from the top of the backdrop as I did before with the use of a dimmer switch to adjust the output of light. The other change was the outfit on the model. I went with a body stocking and a top hat to help promote an attitude.        The ring light was fixed onto my Canon 60D with a Canon 50mm STM lenes. ISO 200 and and my f stop was @ f8. 250sec. I was also able to get the exposure of the tungsten lights that were hanging down with no issue with...

Catalog shoot with Tiffany Toth Playboy® Playmate

In this Story Behind the Picture we are going to talk about a catalog shoot with Playboy® Playmate Tiffany Toth. I have a lighting setup that I use, which always gets me a nice clean white backdrop. I take two lights in umbrellas on stands and have them facing down onto the backdrop. They are at the height of the start of the white seamless. Make sure the light is about 1 & ½ stop’s brighter than your front lights. Do not get the model to close to the backdrop as the light will bounce off the backdrop and flair back onto the model and the clothes. The front lights should be in box’s not in umbrellas or other round modifier's as this will put a hot spots on the clothes. I use one large box as the main light and my other light is a ½ Dome as the fill, don’t make them the same (Size or power) as you will have flat lighting, keep the light as close to the models on set as you can. If you find that the light is still not working well on the faces of the models you can place a beauty dish or small box light on a boom to only light up the face of the model this will be a fill light so it has to be another soft light. As you can see in the images Playboy® Playmate Tiffany Toth has a lovey face and smashing figure. Other equipment I used was a Canon 60D camera and my lens was a Tamron 28-75mm zoom set @ f11/125sec...

Glamour head shot with Mishel Thorpe

When setting up for a glamour head shot it’s not like a portrait shot. You should understand that a glamour shot is about making the face look just that glamous with nice lighting that looks a bit sexy & a bit Hollywood. A portrait is sort of best of them look or a very normal or formal look. Now for this shot with model Mishel Thorpe we were in the studio and I could place my lights any were so the first light set up was to be in front and slightly above the model’s face, this would place a shadow under the nose which we call a butterfly. To remove this shadow and to bounce light up under the chin we can use a reflector that could be a soft white or silver it depends on how much bounce you like. I have a soft silver that I use. I place this on a boom under the model’s face about foot under her chin and up to the face. I sometimes place white cards on each side of the model to make a box to bounce the light back around the face. In this shot I did not do that as I wanted the light to drop off as it hit the face with no bounce back. This would give more shaping to the face, the bounce on each side with the white cards can give a flat look. Now to make a background look interesting I use a string of lights which I had & to make sure they would bee seen in the image so I...

Rebecca Mary Lingerie Pinup

Working with TV actor and model Rebecca Mary on some new stock images for a magazine that was interested in publishing a story about Rebecca I went about setting up a for new idea I had. For the background of these shot’s I used the two large cards I had made for a shoot with another model that I had covered with blue fluffy cloth. I had placed them side by side to give the look of a corner of a room. As for this lighting setup I had placed the lights in front of the model next to me from were I would be shooting from. To the right of the camera was a large strip light soft box and on camera left it was another large strip light soft box. I had a beauty dish (modifier) light on a boom pointing at the models face to keep her face lit up! This light was very close to eye level of the model, this sort of lighting of the face is a Playboy® magazine technique. Rebecca was very willing to pose in this black fine net outfit with matching black net stockings, it was just the outfit for a sexy editorial look that a magazine would be interested in publishing. Rebecca had some very lovely shoes that went with this outfit very well and it all looked fantastic on her. Rebecca has the sexy pinup girl look down so this idea was a walk in the park for her. It was a pleasure to shoot with her as always and you can see by these shots we got...

Mariel Gomsrud Noir in color

For this Noir in color shoot I used a large 1000k tungsten light to give me that moody look I was going for. I put a gobo (A gobo is a stencil or template that is placed in front of a light source to control the shape of the emitted light.) in front of the light to give me the shadows to work with. I had a 650K tungsten light that was behind a large scrim to work as a fill light it was setup behind the 1000k. My exposure was set for the brighter 1000K. ISO 800 with 4.5 F stop at 100sec, the lens was at 45mm on a Tamron 28-70mm zoom with Canon 60D APS-C size CMOS sensor camera. I use a black cloth backdrop and instructed the model not to walk too far away from the backdrop so that the shadows I made with her & the gobo would fall off onto the backdrop. My model for this shoot was from Norway, Mariel Gomsrud who I thought had a fabulous looking face with a strong jawline plus Mariel’s short blonde hair made for a smashing look. I think this all helped to make for a different shoot for me as when you shoot for a lot of catalogs you can’t go outside of the plan white backdrop and use hard shadows you have to light all the outfits in some sort of flat light to show off the clothes. Those catalog clients are not looking for mood or editorial images. I think this setup helps create an interesting image with the use of...