Beauty dish portrait lighting setup

Fashion designer Zac Posen looks good in the light of a beauty dish.
Beauty dish portrait lighting diagram

Mattias Olsson gives us a great portrait lighing setup, using a beauty dish as keylight. There is also a bare strobe bounced in the ceiling to achieve a good omni lighting at the location.

On location portrait lighting setup

Portrait of swedish actress Nina Zanjani. All the red household objects go well with the warm light from the lamp. The key light is from the strobe though.
Diagram for on location portrait lighting setup

Here is a great portrait lighting setup from New York based photographer Mattias Olsson. All you need is one strobe and a white wall to bounce the light.

Fashion lighting setup

Click to see the photo in full size
Fashion lighting diagram

Photographer Mattias Olsson is giving us this clean and crisp fashion lighting setup. The black flags prevent light spilling from the rear strobes. The key light from the beauty dish is distinctive and punchy, which accentuates the models expressive personality.

Daylight and Kinoflo lighting setup

Contemporary artist Marcel Dzama photographed for Vanity Fair
Lighting setup using both daylight and Kinoflo lightpanels

Photographer Mattias Olsson gives us this lighting setup. Shot with two Kinoflos and daylight. The Kinoflos are not strobes, but lightpanels with continous light.

Sport portrait lighting setup

Henrik Lundqvist photographed for Café Magazine.
Sport portrait lighting diagram

Photographer Mattias Olsson shows us how to take better sport portraits, by sharing the lighting setup for this colorful photo of NHL player Henrik Lundqvist.

Portrait lighting with only natural light

Country singer Laura Cantrell photographed for Vanity Fair
Even without any lighting equipment at all you can take amazing photos like this.

New York based photographer Mattias Olsson has taken this beautiful portrait of Laura Cantrell without any artificial light or any reflectors. The only lightsource is the window to the side of the subject. Great inspiration for all us upcoming photographers!

Photographer Mattias Olsson

Photographer Mattias Olsson in Mexico

We are glad to present some really impressive lighting setups from New York based photographer Mattias Olsson. In this interview Mattias tells more about himself and his work.

Lighting For Photo: – Where are you from?

Mattias Olsson: – I was born in Malmö, Sweden. I moved to New York when I was 22 and lived there for 13 years. I recently moved back to Sweden and now live in Stockholm.

Lighting For Photo: – How old are you?

Mattias Olsson: –38.

Lighting For Photo: – How long have you been into photography?

Mattias Olsson: – Since I was about 13, 14.

Lighting For Photo: – Do you prefer studio or location sessions?

Mattias Olsson: – I do almost all of my work on location. But I do enjoy shooting in the studio sometimes too. There’s nothing quite like shooting a portrait in a great daylight studio.

Lighting For Photo: – What is your dream assignment?

Mattias Olsson: – I’ve always liked David Byrne (from Talking Heads). It would be cool to spend a day with him, making portraits for Interview, or some other funky magazine.

Lighting For Photo: – What other photograpers do you like?

Mattias Olsson: – Arthur Elgort, James Nachtwey, Sebastiao Salgado, Edward Weston.
What is your favorite piece of photo equipment?

Mattias Olsson: – My Speed Graphic 4″x5″ camera from the 60’s. And my beautiful Rolleiflex.

Lighting For Photo: – What is the most common beginners misstakes when it comes to lighting?

Mattias Olsson: – Killing the mood with too much light. And not seeing/finding the natural light.

Lighting For Photo: – What is your favorite lighting setup?

Mattias Olsson: – I always work with natural light when possible. And when I can’t, I tend to light a set to make it feel like natural light. Unless the scene is supposed to be dramatic, like a portrait of a musician in a club or some other nightscene.

Lighting For Photo: – What is your worst photo experience?

Mattias Olsson: – I was a very green assistant, maybe I was 19 or 20 years old. I had just started working with this semi-famous photographer, and he had shot an important advertising job. This was in the early 90’s, so we’re talking film not digital. He shot the whole thing on medium format TMAX 100 film. My job was to develop the 20 or so rolls and make contact sheets. Since I was new I didn’t know this particular darkroom too well. I used the developer from the container labeled TMAX Developer. It was a liquid that should me mixed 1 part chemical to 4 parts water. Then you warm it to 20 degrees Celcius, and now you’re ready to process the film. The problem in this case was that the developer I used had already been mixed 1+4. So I had taken the finished developer and diluted it again 1+4. Needless to say the film came out very thin and under developed. And of course I thought I was being very efficient and had processed all 20 rolls at the same time. By some miraculous luck I was able to make the contacts (using the 5+ filter for the B/W paper, meaning the highest contrast), and the prints for the job, and the photographer and the client never found out.