How I Shot These Photos With the Profoto Magnum Reflector

How I Shot These Photos With the Profoto Magnum Reflector

As is the case with most photographers, I have my usual go-to light modifiers that I know are a safe choice and can guarantee usable shots. However, sometimes, you need to step out side the box.

It's always good to have a reliable set of gear to work with, but this can sometimes lead to a rut where I just do the same thing repeatedly, and that can get boring. Not only is that just not fun, but when a photographer is bored, it most definitely shows in the final photos. Like everything else in life, we need to keep things fresh every now and then, so once in a while, I try to take a step out of my comfort zone by using modifiers that I rarely ever touch. Such is the case for me when it comes to the Profoto Magnum reflector!

The primary benefit of the Magnum reflector is that it works well as a sun replacement modifier.

Reference Images

I saw images by Benjamin Kaufmann and really loved the lighting. I knew I would also want to get a girl with light-colored eyes for this, as they would really pop in this light.

As I was setting up the light, I knew I wanted to create hard shadows around the model, which meant a small source of light far away. With that, I fiddled around with the lights and just taking some time to get something that I was happy with. On my first try, I placed the light too close to the model, which caused the shadows from the boards to be too feathered instead of the clear lines I wanted.

With that in mind, I moved the light farther away, making the Magnum an even harder light source. This also allowed me to have the boards held farther away from the model while still creating harsh shadows. I had experimentation, progress, and was definitely not bored! All of that resulted in these images below!

Wanting to get even more interesting shots, I started having random things held in front of the model's face. How great are our jobs as photographers that we can have random things held in front of someone's face and they happily oblige?! Not everything worked, so it took a couple of attempts, but there were some cool films that were lying around in the studio and I really loved the effect they gave. 

Equipment List

Lighting Setup

The main light was the Magnum, which was placed as far and high as I could put it from the model. As there was a limit to how high the light could go due to the ceiling, I also had the model sit down on the floor to help create a little more distance. Fill light was an octa from the front, and there was one more strip light placed behind the model to light up the background.

Hope this has been helpful!


Don't be afraid to try different equipment. Experiment, step outside of your comfort zone, and you might end up with something amazing! At the very least, you won't be bored.

Photography: Shavonne Wong
Retouching: Marco Verna 
Makeup: Michelle 
Model: Patricia Orchel

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Previous comments
james uko's picture

Stupid question, but what type of boards did you use to block the light in the diagram? Foam, cardboard?

Nice pics by the way. Love the color photography one you did and this one as well.

Shavonne Wong's picture

Hey James! Haha I think they were plastic boards. Any black board that's opaque should be fine though!
Thank you also!! (: