Andrea Belluso is an experienced photographer with more than three decades in the business. Over the years, Andrea has shot everything and everyone from supermodels and celebrities to fashion, beauty and stock photography. In addition, Andrea works as a light shaper evangelist at the Profoto headquarters in Stockholm.
Once a month Andrea shares one of his recently used setups. He is also available to answer any questions you might have. Just leave a comment below or tweet us at @Profoto
SETUP #02: The Nippon Pop Setup
PERFECT WHEN: You want to bring out colors and details without sacrificing soft skin textures.
BUT ALSO WHENEVER: You want a light with a high output but soft shadows and smooth shapes.
THE ASSIGNMENT: I was recently contacted by M Magazine who wanted me to do a shoot inspired by the Swedish painter Manuela Vintilescu. She makes these beautiful, colorful portraits that look like a blend of manga and pop art. I thought it sounded like an exciting job and an interesting production and happily agreed to do it!
The first thing I did was to contact the art direction company JU’NK to discuss how the different themes should be handled. We also discussed the styling, the make-up, how to find a suitable doll-like model and, of course, the lighting.
THE SETUP: It soon became obvious that the perfect way to light these images would be to use a hard light with very soft shadows, lots of punch and color contrast. I also decided that I wanted only one light source and that it should be focused. So, what do you think I used?
You guessed it, the Softlight Reflector Silver – or the Beauty Dish, as many photographers call it. I also attached a grid to the reflector to give it a bit more focus and kill the spill light. The reflector was positioned about two and half meters right in front of the model, about 20 centimeters above the camera.
I used this set-up for all the images in the series, and I think it fitted perfectly. It really brought out the colors of the make-up and the details of the styling, while also softening the shadows on the model’s skin and giving just the right skin tones and smooth textures that I wanted.
To be honest, I’ve not used the Softlight Reflector that much in the past – partly because I wanted to stick out from the crowd of beauty photographers, but also because I had a habit of sticking to my softboxes, snoots, giants and Fresnel spots. But after using it on this shoot I’m pretty much hooked!
If you have any questions, leave a comment below. I will do my best to answer asap!
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