Studio Portraits In A Lounge

By: Robert Thomson


I started off with a couple of 500W cool light soft boxes and reflector but found I was limited on the camera speed and often produced perfectly focussed but blurred shots; I had thought that models would stand still, but the girls wanted to jump around.

So I progressed on to a 3ft umbrella with a SB800, SB600 and a couple of old Vivitar flashgun on remotes which all work great, usually! The flash with umbrella certainly stopped the motion but sent light everywhere and I struggled to light the background separately in such a cramped space. You can see some of the results of this on my website.

So, how to to stop sending light everywhere? I now I have a soft box attachment for the SB800 and find that I can control the direction of the light a lot better.

I liked the umbrella with teenagers who wanted to bop around. It seemed to light them pretty well no matter what angle they were at and the softbox was more useful for headshots.

I used a flash, high up behind the model to put highlights in the hair or to rim light them against a dark background. I have also added a pringles tube, covered in black tape, as a snoot, and foam cards to act as flags to stop the flash at the back from giving glare in the camera lens.

I found using the menu on the Nikon D300 to control the flashes was cumbersome and now use the SU800 Commander unit which sits on the hotshoe and is much quicker to use.

With all this kit I have enough to experiment with and am constantly learning. It is beginning to amaze me just how tilting a light this way or that way really affects how the photographs look. I have read a lot but doing it in practise is where I am really learning what I read means.

I am not sure what advantages studio lighting will give me but I still have so much to learn and explore with the equipment I already have. If I need more space then I will hire a local hall.

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I enjoy capturing beautiful moments in unique and creative ways and I delight in delivering photographs that people enjoy. Having taken photographs for over 30 years, I decided to become a full-time, professional photographer in 2008, specialising in People Photography. Examples of recent work can be viewed on my Wedding and Portrait Websites/Blog as well as a growing number of articles and reviews for photographers, clients, brides and models. I use my Nikon gear with portable studio equipment to create the desired environment wherever I go and am always looking for new and interesting ways to take photographs of people. John Wood Photography www.John-Wood-Photography.co.uk/blog Visit Studio Portraits In A Lounge.

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