Hard at work in my home studio

The past few months have flown by with many portrait sessions in my home studio here in Alameda. It’s been quite the learning experience working within such a limited space and crafting the light from scratch with my external flash units. Currently I am using two Canon 580EX II’s, and a couple cheaper Yongnuo flashes. I have the Gary Fong snoot on one that I aim at either the background, or as a rim light. Another flash also has a snoot on it which is just a plain grid from Opteka to help direct and concentrate the light. For the main light in front I am using the Speedbox-60 which is a 24 inch softbox that I really like, but at the same time I am wishing it had a grid on it to help direct light and not splash everywhere. Since the space in my studio is only 9’ x 12’ there’s not much distance I can get of the model from the backdrop. My main flash has the wireless transceiver/receiver system from Phottix and the rest are all triggered by a wireless optical slave. I’ve been adding more backdrops for variety and a new stool for the models to sit on. It’s been fun to use the colored gels too on the white paper back drop to infuse some different shades and moods to the images. Ok enough shop talk, let’s move onto analyzing the images below.

One of my earliest shoots was with Vee Trinh and I had just got my Speedbox-60 that day so I really noticed a difference in how much brighter my images were coming out instead of using my pop-up Roundflash beauty dish. This is just a one light set up with reflector to the side. Makeup look done by Leigh.

I love this one of Leslie against a soft mauve pink. One flash is pointed to the back with a pink gel, and the other is in front and a reflector to the side. She’s wearing a pretty burgundy Nasty Gal dress and her makeup was done by Josanna.

This image below of Madison Frilot is probably my #1 right now. There’s one flash on her with the Speedbox-60, and one on the white background.  As a ballet dancer she really knows how to move her body and was comfortable trying out new looks. The makeup artist was Nei and she did a great job adding on more contouring and changing up the lips for the different outfits Madison had brought.

Her fur coat against the dark gray muslin background created a fun fall/winter look for this next image and she was channeling a Russian princess with regal poses.

Another look was with Madison’s black leather jacket and really dark gothic lips. She reminded me of a vampire from the 80’s! This was with just one main light set up with a speedbox.

Elizabeth came prepared for her beauty portraits with some fun clothes and ideas. And even though the makeup artist I had scheduled couldn’t make it to the shoot, we were able to create her look ourselves. I was finally getting the hang of working with multiple lights (two with colored gels) and this image of her in the black leather jacket was one of the strongest.

A couple weeks ago Josanna had helped me out on a shoot as a MUA, and this time she wanted be the one in front of the camera. She had this idea for a hair flip and I set it up with some colored gels on two of the flashes, and the main light . She has a lot of hair so it came out looking spectacular!Really looking forward to more shoots in my little home studio and if anyone needs a glamorous portrait done just message me!

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