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.


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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