How to Shoot Great Portraits in Tiny Spaces

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.

how to shoot portraits in a tiny room

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.

shooting with a gridded softbox

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.

post-processing portrait images

I hope Wallace’s techniques have opened up your mind about how to transform a small, cramped space into a workable studio.

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