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One light when you are short on time

Behind the scenes dance photoshoot Feat. Paula Penachio

Happy New year my friends, it feels so good to be in 2018!

This week I am sharing with you a simple one light setup to use when you are short on time.

Time is a luxury and unfortunately, I have spent my life running after it. As a photographer, I rarely have the time I want and barely the time I need to make my pictures. To ensure success, I plan ahead as much as possible, visit my location beforehand and make a few test shots and a shot list with different ideas that I store inside my phone.

On the day of the shoot I basically know what I am shooting, and the way I am going to shoot it.

Of course, light is important, it creates the mood of your shot and you cannot rely on the same setups all the time. Your choice will depend on the purpose of the shoot. If it's a fashion, commercial, editorial, fantasy, lifestyle, wedding shoot, or whatever you will be shooting, you will not have the same approach.

But! Sometimes one setup could work, It's easy to figure out and to understand. I use it quite a lot because it's efficient, fast to set up, and creates nice shadows on my model.

Are you ready? You might be disappointed because it's really easy:

Basically, you place your camera at a 45 degrees angle camera right (or left depending on the pose of your model). I generally place my light slightly above my subject's head and that's it!

Look at shadow on the floor, my Broncolor Siros L was placed camera left. Watch the behind the scenes of this session with dance Lyria Van Moer here.

You can increase contrast and shadows by pushing your light closer to a 90 degrees angle or bringing it back close to you to lessen the effect.

Here with Alice Freestyle in the streets of Nice the light is placed camera left at almost 90 degrees:

And here again, I wanted deep shadows on Pauline so I placed my light the same way camera right (look at her shadow on the floor):

I've talked about this in a previous video where I shared a few other examples on my work with one light:

But the following photoshoot was one of these where time wasn't really on our side and we had to work fast... I pushed a little bit beyond the time that was given to us... Try it for yourself, experiment, and tell me if you get good results! Down below is the result of my photoshoot with Paula Penachio.

Huge thanks to the Cannes Dance festival and the Palais des festivals for letting us create again in this beautiful building.


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