When shooting a portrait or head shot outdoors or inside a studio, I always use a reflector or bounce card to add some sparkle to the subject. This is Emily, I first shot her without any reflected light indoors in my studio.
Now, I will add some reflected light directly below her and just out of the bottom frame. Notice Garrett is holding the reflector. Some photographers will ask the talent to just hold the reflector because they have no one to assist them. Get a stand or something, never ask your subject to hold the reflector on themselves! First, they can’t see what their doing. Second, it is distracting them from working the camera. They may already be nervous and all you’re doing is adding to their stress. If I ever asked L.L. Cool J or Mark Harmon, or any celebrity to hold their reflector that would be the last time I would ever shoot on that show. If you ever attend one of my workshops I have a excellent trick on why you never ever do this!
She’s already adorable, the light makes her sparkle.
Here is where I want to make a suggestion, Emily already looks great. Let us add some depth to the image. Let’s try putting the reflector to her side instead of below her.
Now there’s what I call turning the light.
Notice camera right just below her nose, or look at the shadow under her chin. Can you see how one side is a bit lighter than the other? That creates depth, it’s not so flatly lit. It’s just a suggestion to try something simple and approach it differently.
I’m known for creating depth in my images. If you want to learn more about depth in an image check back on Photofocus. I’ll be writing more about it in my blog. I also have lighting workshops you can attend.
Thank you for your time and reading my post.
That’s a wrap, fade to black.
Mike is best known for his work on countless popular shows that are household names: CSI, CSI: Miami, CSI: NY, JAG, Boston Legal, Pretty Little Liars to name a few. His current projects are NCIS and NCIS: Los Angeles.
Mike is a Trainer for KelbyOne, and Los Angeles Center of Photography. Mike is also a member of the International Cinematographers Guild.
You can view Mike’s work at 4stills.com, and follow him on Facebook at 4Stills.