This is a portrait lighting setup by Swedish photographer Frida Lenholm using only a window as a single light source. Since there is no expensive equipment needed, this is a lighting setup that anyone can test.
Frida: – I am very weak for portraits that are illuminated with window lights. For this portrait lighting with Börje Salming there was only one window in a dark room which created a nice contrast between light and dark.
The closer to the window you put the model, the faster the light will fall off, and give a stronger contrast. For more details regarding this, you can study the inverse-square law.
By placing Börje at an optimal distance from the window, I found a balance of contrast and even exposure that captures Börjes personality.
This is a portrait photography lighting setup from the Swedish photographer Frida Lenholm.
The photo of Alice Bah Kuhnke was for the cover of a local magazine in Sweden.
Frida: – Since I love backlight very much and had a short time, it was a good solution to us natural light and take the picture of Alice in the window.
The window in the back had the strongest light and was facing the sun. The transparent curtains reduced and softened the spill light around Alice. The window and the curtains also created a frame around Alice that accentuated the composition.
There was also a window from the side with less intense light, that worked as a kicker light that and lit up Alice from the side/front and made the exposure more even.
The photo is slightly overexposed and shot with a Canon 24-70mm /F2.8 lens.
This fashion photography lighting setup is from a session on location in Hong Kong, featuring ShellZ Zhu. ShellZ Zhu is a fashion model and actress in China, but she has also been seen i a few Hollywood productions.
Portable lighting setup
I didn’t have the possibility to bring my full arsenal of lighting equipment, so I had to find a lighting setup that was easy to travel with. I brought a hot shoe speedlight flash, a shoot through umbrella, a lightweight light stand and the Elinchrom Skyport radio trigger. The shoot through umbrella was actually a multifunction umbrella with one shoot through layer and one removable silverlayer that you can bounce the light in when needed, but for this photo session I used it only as a shoot through umbrella. This is really a minimalistic fashion photography lighting setup.
It was a bit cloudy that day so the daylight was soft and had no specific direction. I placed the umbrella in front of ShellZ Zhu about 45 degrees to the left. For the photo with the “catwoman stance”, the lighting setup was moved so the lighting direction came a bit closer to the camera direction. Since the models pose i lower, the light gets relatively more from above.
Here’s a new lighting setup from photographer Meggy Irawan. The strobes are used without any light modifiers. That creates a crisp and dramatic light in the scene. The temple is lit by the sun and parts of the background is slightly underexposed which makes the model more prominent.
The camera had a WB in Flash, Canon 5D MK II, 24-70mm, Aperture F 5.6, shutter 1/125, ISO 400. Main light Canon 580EXII with a grid. My assistant was up high and pointing down the speedlight on to my subject.
Photographer Pedro Moreno shares this lighting setup that only uses one light source.
Pedro: – The camera had a WB in Sun, Canon 5D MK II, 100mm, Aperture 2.8, shutter 1/125, ISO 100 with. Main light Elinchrom Quadra RX with a Octave 1mt in silver and the sun was giving me a golden tone on the neck’s shadows. I triggered the light with an Skyport.