Family Studio Portrait on White Background

Young Family Portrait

A white background gives a contemporary setting for this young family.  Once again, the Paul Buff PLM umbrellas let us flood the set with brilliant light, focused where the photographer wanted.  And the expression of the front row girl?  Did someone mention:  ice-cream?  You have to speak their language!  It was fun!

Male Portrait Headshot

Male Portrait Headshot

Equipment used:
Paul Buff 22 inch Beauty Dish with Diffusion
Set to one side, camera right
Einstein 640 Studio Flash
Black sweep
Canon 6D, 35mm 1.4

Portraits for men begin with getting the subject relaxed in front of the camera. A natural relaxed position is the goal so the subject looks comfortable. You only have a few minutes to determine the best pose for any given shot. There are no hard fast rules. You’re looking for individuality.

Male Portrait Poses

Portrait Photography

Equipment used:
Paul Buff 86 inch PLM
PLM 7 feet back from subject with photographer in front of it
Einstein 640 Studio Flash
white sweep
Canon 6D, 35mm 1.4

Information on posing men for portraits is far less easy to find than posing women.  The male portrait is about capturing completely different traits.  Rather than cute or glamorous the male portrait is about strength, fitness, coolness, ease or likability.

Typically men need a purpose for their hands.  If not using their hands, they can get fidgety and feel uncomfortable.

This model was awkward smiling directly into the camera and as with most male clients: didn’t know what to do with his hands.  The photographer had him put one hand in a pocket, the other holding a pair of glasses.  The assistant was off to the side making the model laugh.  The photographer said, “When you start laughing look into the camera” and we got the shot.

Portrait Photography on White

Portrait Photography on White Background

This setting was chosen by the photographer to capture the subject, who is an artist, in a pensive mood while she creates.  This brings the focus to the face while keeping the body language central in the composition.

Using a white background for this portrait is all about bathing the subject in translucent white, having her melt into the surrounding white. To achieve this stunning effect requires a wash of light. The photographer used two Paul Buff 86 inch PLM soft silver with diffusion, lighting the sides and background; and a 64 inch PLM in front of the subject.  The light is critical to obtaining this elegant softness of light. This shot required no Photoshop.

Portrait Photography Composite

Composite Portrait Photography

This portrait was shot on a grey background on location. The simple staging of a coffee table gave nice foreground texture.  The light source was a Paul Buff 22 inch beauty dish with a grid.  This bounce flash light modifier is beautifully flattering to faces.

The photographer’s library of backgrounds is a collection of textured surfaces such as tin siding, stucco walls, weather beaten exterior house walls, stone surfaces, etc.  These he shoots specifically for this purpose of blending and layering to build up an artistic backdrop for a studio portrait.  The manipulating of these backgrounds takes place in Photoshop to his creative eye. This background was a composite of 2 backgrounds over the grey studio backdrop.

Read more on our website about backgrounds for portraits.

Portrait Photographer

Onsite Portrait Photographer

What goes into a portrait photography session?

This is an in-home session.  This small house had no background photographic opportunities.  The photographer created one from a set of window blinds. Despite looking like it was shot at sunset this is a staged shot-manipulating the background.  We created this effect by setting up tungsten lighting outside the window at night.  Adjusting the window shades for the precise bounce of light gave the photographer the control he wanted. Using a handheld flash allowed for exactness in adding the highlights to face and hair. Every angle and tilt of camera complete the composition of the subject.  Once softness and overall look was established to the photographer’s eye the session proceeds with multiple shots.  Finishing touches are completed in Photoshop for facial tone and minor touch-up.

Read more on our website about backgrounds for portraits.

Portrait on White Background

A simple white background portrait can be turned into something dramatic and fun with a little editing. It’s all in the eye to showcase your product.



A simple one light portrait using a Paul Buff 86″ PLM, in front of the model about 7′ back, with the photographer standing in front of the PLM, using an Einstein Studio Flash.

Canon 7D 35mm lens

Couple’s Portrait

Couples Portrait Photography

Beauty Dish Photography
This is a simple one light shot. White back drop, a beauty dish with an Einstein 640 flash, 1/4 power. Light was positioned to the extreme camera left approx. 45 degree angle over shoulder of man pointed at girl.

Canon 7D
lens:  70-200mm f/2.8
Aperture f8
Shutter Speed 1/250
White background turned grey since the couple was 8 feet in front.  The skin tones varied dramatically, desaturation was the ideal solution.

One Light Portrait-Flash

Studio Portrait Composite

Professional Portrait

Both are one light (flash) portraits.
Einstein 640 @ 1/4 power
22″ beauty dish, diffused
ISO 100
Aperture f8
Shutter Speed 1/200
Daylight balanced
Canon 7 D 70-200 2.8
set to Neutral

It all begins with a well lit photo. The beauty dish was placed directly overhead of subject, just out of frame, using white foam core for fill bounce below at waist level.

Shot against a white backdrop brought in an artist to create Illustrator backgrounds with texture, and manipulated photo and backgrounds in Photoshop.

One Light Portrait

one light portraitThink you need a full studio to take a terrific dramatic portrait?

This is a simple one light portrait, referred to as “Paramount Lighting” (AKA “Butterfly Lighting”).  Paramount Lighting was developed by a photographer at Paramount Studios in the 1930s. It was a dramatic and easy way to take publicity photos of their stars. It was an easy setup and proved to be very dramatic. Read more.

I used a 300 watt daylight fluorescent bulb and a small 16″ square soft-box with one diffuser panel. (No flash, continuous light)  Placed above the camera, pointed at the subject.  Used a tripod.

  • Aperture 2.8
  • Shutter Speed 1/160
  • ISO 640
  • 50mm 1.4 lens

In Photoshop I posterized the background, and saturated the orange decals.