How to Create Hard, Punchy Portrait Lighting

Shooting on location can present a plethora of problems for photographers to solve, including the ever-so-important lighting setup. In this short video tutorial, Andrea Belluso shows you how to create flattering and punchy light using off camera flashes and reflectors. Take a look to see how Belluso earned the title, “The Light Shaper”:

The shoot featured in the tutorial was set up in an old boxing gym. Belluso wanted to complement that look with a hard light. To achieve this, he set up three Profoto B1 lights. He then attached a Profoto Magnum Reflector to each of the lights and a 10-degree grid to one of the reflectors.

The gridded main light, which lit the model, was used with through-the-lens metering, referred to as TTL. The additional lights were used on manual settings and were placed in the background to bring up subtle details in the back.

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In the finished image, you can see how the reflector and grid helped focus the light on the model’s face without looking too harsh.

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