Grid Grid Grid

After shooting for some time your desire to light smaller and smaller eventually comes into play.  You need to own more lights, stands and accessories.  It’s hard to set and tweak everything yourself.  An assistant is definitely a big help when using several small light sources.

I love small lights sources but the only problem is they are so narrow the models really can’t move much.  So their poses must stay in such a way the model doesn’t loose their light.  The problem with this is that a new model is inexperienced at modeling to the main light and can’t work a narrow zone.

So I would use small light sources for more experienced models as they can still give me variety and know how to model to the main light.  Case in point Derrick.

Derrick came on Wednesday with his girlfriend Andi.  While talking with him I found out he modeled, well I wasn’t going to let that go to waste.  I set this up while Andi was in makeup.  I happened to have my friend and fellow photographer, Erick Leskinen at the studio,  so he gave me a hand.  I asked Derrick to keep his head tipped down for a fierce look and to keep his hair messy.  He was wearing a t-shirt with writing on it that I didn’t want to feature.  This is why I chose the small light sources.  I have a lot of female wardrobe but no male wardrobe at all, but I wasn’t going to let that stop me.

Small light sources can be frustrating and time consuming.   In a lot of ways for me, not that gratifying because the model isn’t moving much.  Understanding the importance of shadow not just getting properly exposed images is just a natural transition in a photographers journey I think.

So grid grid grid…

  • This lighting setup consists of six lights, all gridded
  • Main light is a Profoto magnum, camera right
  • 7″  reflector sitting on the floor aimed at his left jaw as an extremely low fill
  • Blue rim light is a small strip box with diffusion and baffle
  • Two background 7″ reflectors, gelled, blue and red
  • HMI focusing light, camera left
3 comments category: Backgrounds,Lighting,Photographing models,Testing

1 Vineet Modi July 9, 2010 at 12:53 am

Hi Mary! I’m a Photographer from India. I’ve learnt a great deal from your website and DVD’s. Thanks for sharing all that information.

I would love to see more ‘setup’ shots in your blog posts. Maybe just a wide-angle shot of how the studio, background and lights looked when you were photographing the model. Its very difficult to imagine the light-placement and background infos just by reading plain text, say in this particular post. Hope you will include some in future! Many thanks 🙂


2 Chris Pagorius July 6, 2010 at 5:25 pm

I really like this shot, great model and great photo aura.


3 Fred Guerra July 6, 2010 at 9:06 am

Thanks for including a male photo session. I was particularly interested to see how your attitude changed in how you were going to light him, and the difference in look you tried to achieve. I hope you’ll have more “boyfriends” show up to model shoots. Great job! (Now I need to go buy MORE lights, darnit!)


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