Over the (roughly) 12 years that I’ve been involved in the Photography Industry I’ve most definitely grown to appreciate that LESS is MORE.
I think like most photographers I’ve collected so much kit but when I really look at what gets used on a regular basis, most sits on the shelves gathering dust as my own style favours a single light set up used in the Rembrandt Lighting Style as in this recent portrait of friend, Dave.
Of course it wasn’t always like this as I’ve experimented with multiple light set ups but it was when I started looking closer at work of the greats such as Annie Leibovitz (one of my all time faves) that I saw that simple, classic lighting not only produces beautiful results but is ultimately timeless.
Anyway the point of this post isn’t to go over how I developed my style because I’ve mentioned that plenty of times before and have written about it in my most recent book Photograph Like a Thief (hint, hint 🙂
What I wanted to do here was to give you a look at the simple lighting set up and kit that I used for this portrait of Dave. I’m also considering doing a YouTube LIVE Broadcast tomorrow (Tuesday) talking through the lighting in more detail and maybe taking questions on it plus the post production…what do you think?
So let’s take a look at the lighting set up…
We did this portrait in Dave’s living room because of the small footprint all the kit took up (using the Manfrotto Boom to hold the Gravity Backdrops canvas background meant no need for 2 light stands and background support)
- Sony A7RII
- Sony FE 85mm f/1.4 G Master Lens
- Bespoke Canvas Background (small)
- Manfrotto Avenger Boom
- Phottix C Stand
- Elinchrom Rotalux 135cm (50”) Octa Softbox
- Elinchrom ELB 400
I absolutely love this simple, classic lighting style and how it lends itself to all manner of portraits and locations. Actually on that note I think it’s worth mentioning that if you’re struggling to add images to your portfolio, choose one lighting style and stick with it. Don’t feel that all your pictures are going to look the same because it’s the person, the location, the styling and so on that makes pictures different too.
My advice would be to choose a lighting style and stick with it for at least 20 pictures. Then when you’ve done it this many times it’ll be second nature. When you’re taking a portrait you’ll be doing what you should be doing…chatting with, building a rapport and helping your subject to relax so that you can get the very best, natural images. Does this make sense?
Now, on this note I’m now looking to work on a new style influenced by another of my favourite photographers Yousef Karsh…
For this series of images I’ll be working on the differences will be producing black and white images and introducing an additional light but more on this later.
Right I’ll make a move but in the mean time if you do think a YouTube LIVE discussing the lighting and post production with maybe chance for questions would be a good thing, then let me know in the comments below.