Check out this amazing one-light portrait setup you’ve probably never even considered

Jan 29, 2021

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Check out this amazing one-light portrait setup you’ve probably never even considered

Jan 29, 2021

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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Portrait photographer Jiggie Alejandrino is a big fan of shooting with just a single light for portraits. He’s already shown us some pretty cool and dramatic one-light setups in the last few months. But now he’s back with a very interesting setup that most of have probably never even considered. And that’s bringing the softbox overhead pointing straight down.

It’s certainly not something I’ve usually considered. At least, not for portraits. It’s a technique I use often for small products to simulate a big cloudy sky, but with larger subjects like people, that cast some pretty obvious shadows, how well does it work? Well, looking at Jiggie’s demonstration, it works pretty well!

Such a setup can create an extremely dramatic and almost painted look, as you can see in the image below. It creates some nice tones and soft shadows across the skin that’s aimed towards the light while providing some great shadow separation on the jawline and to prevent hands blending into other parts of the skin.

As usual, Jiggie’s video is filled with a lot of little tips besides the lighting setup that’s the main focus of the video. Like at 6:23 where instead of just counting down his subject to take the shot, he tells her to breathe in while he does it – which can causes the subject to raise their head, chest and breastplate, creating a very strong confident yet relaxed pose in your subject (also illustrated in the image above).

What other little tips did you pick up from this video?

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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One response to “Check out this amazing one-light portrait setup you’ve probably never even considered”

  1. Joost Avatar
    Joost

    Great thing to post. There is so much you can do with a single (speedlite)flash, I hate people complaining ‘meh, he has all the gear, ofcourse his pictures are better’ f-that.