When creating studio portraits, it’s good to make the subject stand out from the background. Most photographers know this, but many still make the mistake and don’t backlight their models properly (or at all). In this short video, photographer Manny Ortiz will show you three easy ways to backlight your model and make it separate from the background using speedlights.
If you add appropriate backlight, to your portraits, you will make the model stand out from the background and create more dynamic photos. These are three basic speedlight settings you can try out to make more dynamic portraits:
2.This technique leans onto the previous one. Place the speedlight with the grid at an angle, hitting the model from one side. It creates rim light on the shoulder and on the hair from one side, again separating the model from the background and adding dynamics.
The third technique is like the improved second one. It includes placing two speedlights on the sides of the model instead of just one. Manny prefers using grids and stripboxes, but he points out that you can use any modifier you prefer. To me personally, this setup is most appealing. And you can make the stripbox yourself.
These are three quite simple techniques, but they make quite a difference. Do you use any of these setups for your studio portraits? What’s your favorite technique and gear to make the models backlit?