Fashion time...BTS

BTS of course meaning "behind the scenes." Here is the picture of the lighting setup used for most of the shots that look like the one above. One big light source on the left, and a big reflector on the right. That's it!


More specifically, the big light is an Alien Bees B800 monolight (320 Ws) and is fired into a photoflex 60" satin-white umbrella. Satin-white is halfway between real silver and real white...sort of a highly-reflective white. At half power it gave me f/8-ish at about 6 feet from the subject. It's about 6 feet off the ground and at an angle (as you can see!) Attached is a cyber sync radio trigger. Then there is the ginormous reflector over to camera right (thanks for lending it to me Manny!) When I was shooting I moved it closer towards me and in towards the model, but in the shot above it was moved out of the way. It gave a little fill from the main light, but I didn't meter it to know how much.

The backdrop is a 9-foot roll of white seamless paper that I lugged in to the studio. Good times...

The setup for the above shot, and most of the portrait shots was very similar to what I showed above. I wanted to use a lighting setup that I could "flow" into easily from the full length shots, so I could shoot some portraits with somewhat different lighting but not need 10 minutes to set everything up and break the momentum of the shoot. So, I just moved the umbrella in closer, and the reflector too, and added a smaller reflector just below the models waist, silver side up for more fill. So the one main light is really the only source used, but there is fill from the right and from below.


This is pretty much the setup, although there was an outfit change obviously!

And that's that...nice lighting from one huge source and some reflectors used a couple of different ways. Full-body and portraits with one light. The 60" umbrella is the real star here, since it is so big and can really give a soft light that covers a whole person at six or eight feet away. Can't do that with bare strobes or little umbrellas! Relative size of the light=softness. Would the light have been softer and better with something like a 7-foot octabox? Sure thing, but there is that budget thing I need to consider...damn!

Model: Mollie Komins
MUA: Cassidy Renee Boch
Wardrobe: Cure Thrift Shop
Stylist (and reflector holder!): Lizzie Altman

Bunch more to come soon!

Fashion time part 1, part 2, part 3
Behind the scenes part 1, part 2, part 3


  1. Awesome stuff. Very informative BTS. You can always try the 86" umbrellas they have at Adorama.


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