Photography can be an expensive enterprise, especially when going for the perfect portrait shot. Most professional photographers (and many amateurs) use complex and expensive lighting setups for portraiture, yet it’s totally possible to capture great portraits using less equipment. In the video below, professional photographer Karl Taylor shows us how to do great portraiture with a simpler setup:
In this shoot Taylor compares the results from an Olympus OM-D with the 14-42mm lens that comes with it and a Canon 5D Mark III with a standard 50mm lens. The soft boxes he uses are 75″ and 150″ Octaboxes. Other than that, the only other gear he uses are a sheet of white board (to add some fill) and a studio flash system.
Granted, even the less expensive OM-D costs over $1,000 new, and the Octoboxes are not cheap. But this is still a relatively minimal setup compared to other professional setups out there. And, as you can see from the comparison shots, Taylor shows at the end of the video, the results don’t disappoint.
You can use a more affordable camera, speedlights, and cheaper softboxes to create a similar effect. The key is to master the lighting technique.