Over to You
Jay Hunjan built on his love of photographing people by setting out to master studio lighting and take perfect portraits
Three photo stories packed with brilliant shots, plus all your rants and raves
I was born in London and live in Berkshire, but my family origins are in India, and it was my visits there that fostered my love of photography, and particularly of photographing people. It’s a wonderful place for any photographer to visit, and the people I saw and photographed there really inspired me.
I became interested in using studio flash, and would spend hours looking at studio portraits in magazines, thinking about how they were created. I didn’t think I would be able to create portraits like those – I thought it would be too technical and difficult to learn.
In 2010 I signed up for a Nikon School workshop (www.nikon.co.uk/training) on using studio flash. The tutor assured me that if I kept practising and experimenting I’d be able to achieve my ambitions. I remember driving home buzzing from what I’d learned. I booked another course and started attending studio workshops.
I’d always thought I’d need lots of expensive equipment, but as I learned more I realised I could get great results with a relatively basic kit. After doing research and trying different lights I purchased the Bowens Gemini 400Rx kit, comprising two studio flash heads/stands
and two umbrellas, for £650; the kit includes a radio transmitter, and each head has a built-in receiver. My main camera is the D610, and my favourite lenses are my Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 and Nikon 85mm f/1.8. I always shoot at 125 sec and f/11 unless I’m photographing babies, when I work at f/8.
Miriam With Hat  is an image I had in my mind for a while – it took me a while to find the right subject, and the right hat! I used one flash head with a medium softbox, and moved the subject away from the white wall as I wanted a grey backdrop. The tricky bit was placing the light in the correct position to get the shadow I wanted on the face. I was very happy with the result, and this is my favourite image.
One of my favourite setups  is very simple, but produces stunning results. It requires one light boomed overhead with a beauty dish (as here) or softbox, with a reflector below the subject to fill in shadows on the face; I like to use a triflector, as this produces multiple catchlights in the eyes. For this shot I used a second flash head with a reflector to light the hair.
The low-key image  was created using one flash head with a large softbox. The light was placed at 45 degrees above and to the side of the subject. The backdrop was a black velvet curtain, and I placed a black velvet sheet at the other side of the subject to soak up some of the light from the flash.
I believe people make great subjects, and when people see my work I want them to feel a connection with the subject. It has been five years since my first experience with studio flash; I now have my own home studio, and I’ve started a photography business. Photography is a big part of my life, and I love it.
01 Miriam With Hat Nikon D610, Nikon AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8G ED, 1/125 sec, f/11, ISO100
02 Old Schoo l Nikon D700, Nikon AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8G ED, 1/125 sec, f/11, ISO200