How to create an iconic one-light silhouette | Profoto (ES)

How to create an iconic one-light silhouette

11 junio, 2024

Escrito por: Profoto and Lindsay Adler

There are many ways to achieve an elegant silhouette and it doesn't have to be complicated or require a lot of gear. In this article, fashion photographer Lindsay Adler guides you through the process of creating breathtaking silhouettes with only one light.

Step 1 - Position your backlight

Place a Profoto D2 through a RFi Softbox 3x4' Rectangular directly behind the subject, pointed back toward the camera. Be sure to utilize the inner diffusion to cut down on overexposed/hot spots. The closer the softbox is to the subject, the more visible the rim light on the jaw/body will appear. If you do not have a softbox, you can create a similar effect by placing a white V-flat behind the subject and bounce a bare Profoto D2 (behind the subject) into the V-flat.

Step 2 - Avoid flare and hot spots 

Avoid highlights that are so exposed that they begin to flare at the camera. If this occurs, reposition the light to hide the hotspot (bright area) or turn down the power of the light. Too much haze or flare can become an unwelcome distraction. Check your lens for fingerprints/smudges that may exacerbate flare. 

Step 3 - Add contrast

Add contrast in post-processing. This will help you to create bright highlights and dark shadows. Check your histogram; you may need to adjust your black point to help you achieve deep, rich shadow areas, especially if you have unwanted haze in the image. 

Step 4 - Negative fill 

When using a strong backlight in a small white shooting space, light will likely bounce around back onto your subject. This may result in too much illumination from the front, and therefore ruin your silhouette. If there is excess bounced light, consider adding negative fill to block/absorb the light.


Don’t forget that styling makes a difference. For portrait/fashion images you will likely be viewing your subject in silhouette. To make your images ‘iconic’ you’ll want to include styling that creates for interesting visuals and compositions. This could include interesting hats, jewelry (that will catch reflections) or other stylistic features that look interesting when viewed in profile/silhouette.

About the photographer

See more of Lindsay Adler's silhouette portraits and lighting setups on her Share the Light profile.

Escrito por: Profoto and Lindsay Adler

Productos usados en esta historia

RFi Softbox Rectangular

Una softbox versátil y popular
Desde 154,00 €

RFi Speedring

Se utiliza para montar RFi Softboxes
Desde 139,00 €