March 2021 // The Senior Edition

Five Tips To Take Your Studio Lighting To The Next Level | Jen Bertrand


Sometimes the light you create is not the light you thought you were creating. You take time to set it up, snap a test shot, and then you realize it looks nothing like what you were envisioning. When a client is present, this can induce panic. Whatever you do, do not panic. Panic leads to clouded judgment, which leads to overthinking the entire process. Instead, take a step back, evaluate your test shot, and then adjust one element at a time. When studying that test shot, think about what it is specifically about the lighting that you don’t like. Is it the highlights? Is it the shadows? Is the image overexposed? Underexposed? Is there too much light falling on the backdrop? Or, is the position of your light creating unwanted shadows on the backdrop?

Once you pinpoint what it is you don’t like, think about one thing you can do to correct that issue. Then, adjust only that thing and take another test shot. Did it make it better or worse? By changing only one element, you are better able to pinpoint the source of that issue and take the appropriate steps to correct it. If you change multiple elements at once (for instance, you change your light’s power and the distance of the light from your subject), it will be harder to figure out what the cause was in the first place. This is especially true when working with a multi-light setup. When I use two or more lights, I always start with my key light, keeping all of the other lights turned off until I nail exactly how I want my key light to look. Once that’s set, I add in the second light, whether it’s a hair light or fill light, and tweak that until it looks exactly the way I want.

Settings: f11 @ 1/60 iso 400

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