Chris Fain of Profoto's Geared Up has asked yours truly to share a few lighting setups I use often in the studio. Today, May 3rd at 11am EST, you can log into the live show and ask me all your favorite lighting questions!
Many of you have probably been wondering what's happened with Lee and I over the last few months. Back in 2021 we were kicked out of our amazing rental home in Puerto Rico (the owner sold and we were foolish enough not to buy it ourselves) and forced to purchase our own separate properties in the same neighborhood. Long story short, our renovations are mostly done and since moving into our new houses, we've been busy setting up offices, live sets, and a new shooting space.
Our latest dedicated photography space is being built in my garage, a far cry from the more luxurious spaces we've worked out of in the past. In some ways, this new studio space is so small it feels a lot like the original garage studio Lee and I first started Fstoppers in almost 13 years ago. Nevertheless, working in a small two car garage with short 8 foot ceilings presents all sorts of new challenges, but that doesn't mean you can't create awesome, professional looking work in a less than ideal setting.
When Profoto reached out to me about sharing some work on their live show Geared Up, I was a bit nervous because I had just moved into this house and as I'm writing this, only about 60% of my boxes in storage have even been opened. Originally my plan was to be moved in by February and have the studio operational by early March but of course contractors, island time, and a thousand trips to Home Depot every week have slowed things down. Thankfully the shooting space is up and running enough to film a few photoshoots so I figured I'd share the most basic but useable lighting setups I use day in and day out as a photographer.
The above three images were all taken with just one light and absolutely zero light modifiers. The goal for this shoot was to show just how easy it can be shooting on seamless paper, although a clean wall would work as well, while producing nice soft shadows and natural looking light. Every photographer will be asked to shoot some sort of clothing or e-commerce imagery for a local or national client at some point in their career. If you've ever been intimidated shooting people, clothing, or simple catalog fashion, the above lighting setup is easy enough that anyone can reproduce it pretty much anywhere.
But wait, there is more! The above three images are just the start of my simple yet reliable garage lighting techniques. If you tune in to Profoto's Geared Up show at 11am EST, you can see two more unique lighting setups that are easy enough anyone with a camera, a roll of seamless paper and a basic flash (or two) can pull it off. Of course if you can't tune in live, still head over to Profoto's Geared Up page where you will be able to watch my full mini session as well as dozens of other great lighting tutorials on a variety of different topics. The nice part is it is all free but you do need the initiative to learn and experiment!
Well done! I shoot a fair amount of catalog work and I use the 2-light (Octa in Rembrandt position + fill shot into the ceiling) setup. It makes clothing look great and is also flattering on the model.
That is the final light setup I show in the video we did this morning. Def one of my favorite lighting setups ever