You may think that a single light isn’t enough to shoot magazine-worthy and professional-looking editorial portraits. But in this video, Elaine Torres shows you how to pull it off. She demonstrates a photo shoot with a single light and a two-light setup, so you can pull it off in a small studio or even at home.
For a single-light or two-light setup, Elaine prefers modifiers such as octaboxes, beauty dishes or parabolic umbrellas. These should be medium to large and because of two reasons. First, this way you’ll get good light for full-body shots and second, it creates pleasant catchlights. And also, soft light is more flattering to the skin and it’s generally more often used for editorial portraits.
For the shoot in her video, Elaine uses a foldable 60” octabox from Pul C. Buff. She demonstrates two different looks you can get with a single-light and a two-light setup. For the first look, the light is at about 45-degree angle, lighting the model from the front. A pretty simple setup, but it works well for both headshots and full-body shots.
The second look introduces one more light. Elaine leaves the octabox at the same place and adds a hard fill light with yellow color gel to the opposite side of the main light. She likes having a splash of color in the fill light, but I believe it would work nicely without the gel, too. Either way, it’s a pretty simple setup, yet it also gives neat results.
Personally, I prefer the first look (it’s more to my taste) and it’s amazing that the photos were taken with just one light. So, even if you’re on a tight budget, it’s good to know that you can get really amazing results even with just one light. I hope that this video has inspired you to try, and I hope to see your one-light photos in some magazine. :)
[Shoot EDITORIAL with only 1 or 2 Lights featuring the Buff 60” OCTABOX | Elaine Torres]