Futuristic Portrait Photography Lighting Using a Secret Ingredient

Miguel Quiles is a studio portrait photographer specializing in creating beautifully lit portraits with lots of emotion. In this video, he walks through the setup and settings for this sci-fi-inspired image.

One of the most helpful things for beginners is a walkthrough of exact lighting setups with the position and angle of the lights. This setup uses a unique combination of three v-flats, two Rotolight Aeos 2s, a Nanlite 720 W light, and a Westcott Optical Spot to create the precise light slit on the model's eye.

Miguel also uses a Lasolite triflector to get catchlights in the model’s eye. The catchlights are important to help bring life to the subject’s eyes, which is especially important in a dark image like the one created in this video.

Miguel also walks through the camera settings and why he is choosing the specific settings. Throughout the video, he has helpful pop-up windows with tips on various camera settings that can be applied in a wide variety of situations. Another helpful tip he mentions is to adjust the white balance before you start. Although the white balance can be adjusted in post relatively easily, when you are shooting with color and gels, you can create creative color mixes in camera to get different effects. Last, Miguel adds a tool that not many people use in their shoots but definitely creates a powerful effect, especially when shooting with color.

Check out the entire video for a complete breakdown of the settings and sample images.

Jeff Bennion's picture

Jeff Bennion is a San Diego-based portrait photographer specializing in boudoir and fashion photography. He owns Ignite Studio, the prettiest studio in the world. He is also an attorney licensed in California.

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Been shooting a lot of stuff like this lately. The Westcott Optical Spot is probably my favorite light modifier I've recently added to the studio. Now that 1.2 Sony lens!!!

Yeah, I love the optical snoots, especially the Optical Spot.

I love using gels when I get the chance. I use constant lighting led panels as it allows quick and varied changing of all settings. Here is a link to a gobo snoot, which I dont have, but can create many useful varied lighting effects https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07YTV3JRM/?coliid=I1UXCLMQQVKD3Z&colid=3UOANM...

Great job!

I guess this is proof that even with thousands of $$$ equipment, you can still get mediocre results