Don’t let anyone tell you that you don’t have many options because you’re shooting in an attic or under the stairs. In an environment with barely enough space to work with a model and one light, Mark Wallace demonstrates what you can achieve when you put on your thinking hat:
To start off, you need the right tools. Wallace uses a Profoto B2 head with a softbox and a grid. Whatever light you use, make sure it’s small.
Also, the grid gives him the option to play around with depth of field. Opening the aperture up to f/1.8, he can capture sharp eyes and put everything else out of focus.
A softbox is also perfect for contrasting effects when paired with a grid.
As far as post-processing goes, Wallace’s key to good final images is to produce good foundation images. These give you enough good images to work with when you’re post-processing. Wallace treated the images differently depending on how they came out.
I hope Wallace’s techniques have opened up your mind about how to transform a small, cramped space into a workable studio.
For further training: The Art of Portrait Photography
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