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Not your usual portrait session

3 Cirque du Soleil, artists one apartment

I'm getting more and more tired of seeing my face on the screen. I'm slowly transitioning to a new formula. To be honest, I don't think I'm doing you any favors by providing more information. So for this new Behind-the-scenes video featuring 3 amazing artists from the Cirque du Soleil, we're going to keep it simple.



Let me explain. It’s all there. Does gear matter? Not so much, the most important part is my lighting placement, the general setup, and staging. Then of course the result, where I advise you to head to my blog to see the images in better quality and further analyze the result.


The rest is for you to experiment. The only way in my opinion to learn and make significant progress is by experimenting in the field. These videos should only be there to inspire and eventually open new doors.


1st image: Nansy (Toulouse - France)

Fujifilm GFX100II + GF 55mm f/1.7 R WR

1/250sec f/1.7 ISO 125


2nd image: Danira

Same settings


3rd & 4th image: Nyamgepel

Fujifilm GFX100II + GF 55mm f/1.7 R WR

1/200sec f/1.7 ISO 200



The gear I am using, camera settings… you have everything on the blog. For this session, I had the Fujifilm GFX100II, the GF20 - 35, GF55, GF80, and the GF110mm lenses. What more do you need? Oh, I forgot, 2 flashes were used, an AD300 pro and an AD600pro. I brought two umbrellas this time for convenience and one layer of diffusion plus the AD-S65S softbox with a grid.


1st image: Danira (Toulouse - France)

Fujifilm GFX100II + GF 20-35 mm F/4 R WR

1/200sec f/4 ISO 320 at 35mm


2nd image: Nyamgepel

Fujifilm GFX100II + GF 55mm f/1.7 R WR

1/200sec f/1.7 ISO 200



The light coming from the windows was constantly changing during the session, so I decided to rely on my flashes instead. From one to two sources, I favored the 2 lights setup. One was for the upper body and the other one was for the overall scene or to fill the shadows.


For the Bathtub images, the approach was different. I tried to place one light as high as possible outside the room as a backlight. To avoid its presence in the frame it was on the side. The light bounced on the walls which helped in this case. I still added another light behind me bouning off another wall, just to slightly raise the ambient light in the room


1st image: Nansy (Toulouse - France)

Fujifilm GFX100II + GF 20-35 mm F/4 R WR

1/160sec f/4 ISO 400 at 20mm


2nd image: Danira (Toulouse - France)

Fujifilm GFX100II + GF 55mm f/1.7 R WR

1/125sec f/1.7 ISO 80


3rd image: Nansy (Toulouse - France)

Fujifilm GFX100II + GF 55mm f/1.7 R WR

1/160sec f/1.7 ISO 80


Nyamgepel: (Toulouse - France)

Fujifilm GFX100II + GF 20-35 mm F/4 R WR

1/160sec f/1.7 ISO 400



The apartment is not that big and the rooms are rather small. But, I am used to working in small spaces, so I was able to find solutions for our portraits.


You can now watch or rewatch the video and carefully analyze the light placements, the position of the models, and of course the shadows on the resulting images.


All the individual sessions will be posted here on the blog next week, this means the complete gallery and behind-the-scenes videos. How did I retouch those images? I am glad you asked, just simply click here: Photoshop's best companion.


Danira (Toulouse - France)

Fujifilm GFX100II + GF110mmF2 R LM WR

1/160sec f/2 ISO 80



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