1. Go long
For this shot we’re getting in close for the portrait by using a lens with a long focal length. The 70-200mm f/2.8 we have here is perfect and zooming up to 200mm compresses the portrait even more, creating an intimate effect between viewer and subject.
3. Soften things up
Have your model face camera-right. Pop a reflective umbrella on the left light and shoot-through umbrella on the right. The reflected light is more directional, with a harder edge on the left of the face, but the front of the face (lit by the shoot-through umbrella) will remain soft.
5. Take a test
Take a test shot in Manual mode at 1/160 sec, f/8, ISO100. Our image was 1-stop underexposed after diffusion and gels were applied to the lights, so we then widened the aperture to f/5.6; remember that any type of modifier will have an effect on the light output.
2. Position the lights
With the flashguns set to 1/2 power, place one cameraleft with a 3/4 turn towards your model, and the other camera-right firing across the model’s face; positioning the flash like this forms a distinct shadow along their nose, which adds depth to the image.
4. Add the gels
We then placed a red gel over the flashgun on the left and a green gel over the one on the right. We found that the red colour was overpowering the green too much, so we turned the red light down to 1/4 power, keeping the green at 1/2 power to balance them out evenly.
6. Catch the light
We had our model Erin play with some jewellery near her mouth and nose. When turned justso it sparkled and gave a shine similar to that of her eyes. This gave us bright highlights from top-left to bottom-right through the image, for an edgy, moodily lit portrait shot.