Netherlands-based commercial photographer Evely Duis used Profoto gear to create emotive photos for a recent shoot. She took the time to guide us through how she approached light in this editorial series.
Meet Evely Duis
“Light is everything in my photography,” Evely Duis says. She is known for her conceptual fashion and portrait photographs, in which the setting is as important as the subject itself. While styling and décor play a role in this, lighting is the key component. “I build my images from a concept,” Evely says, noting that whether she is just using a flash or a combination of flash and natural light, “how the subject is lit creates the right atmosphere for each photo.”
My lighting approach
Contrary to what some believe, expressing your emotions is extremely powerful. In this series, I wanted to showcase the strength that comes with vulnerability. I chose two colors to express this: blue, which represents sadness, and red, which radiates strength. I incorporated these colors in the styling, background and, most importantly, the light.
For this shoot, I used nine different lighting concepts, three of which are showcased here. For such a large number of lighting variations, it’s important to prepare in advance, and I tested the different lighting situations prior to the shoot to save time and avoid stress that day.
For the first setup, I wanted to create blue light, so I placed a blue filter on the B10 using the OCF Grid II and Gel Holder. Direct light on the model radiates power, despite the somber blue hue. The red background creates drama against the blue, thanks to the B10 with the OCF Strip Softbox.
In the second setup, I wanted to work with direct light, so I used the B10 without an attachment. In order to bring a strong contrast to the image, I placed the B10 on a tripod in front of the model. Then, to evenly illuminate the blue background, I used two B10s with an OCF Strip Softbox.
Shadow played an important role in the third lighting setup, I worked with the A2 and the Clic Snoot attachment as the main light. I let the A2 shine through a wooden plate with a round hole in the center to create a circle around the model’s face. Then I used black Styrofoam plates on both sides of the model to enhance the shadow. To ensure the red backdrop came across well, I placed the B10 and an OCF Strip Softbox behind her.
Bringing your story to life
Challenging myself with unique lighting setups allows me to bring my concept to fruition. I encourage everyone to experiment with light when telling your story, and don’t forget to have fun! To see more of my work and learn about my other lighting setups, visit my Share the Light profile.
Photography Evely Duis @evelyduis
Model Purnima @purnima.vs @inbetweenmodels
Styling Demi Weijsters @dweijsters
Makeup Jeske Nieuwenhuisen @jessbeautyness
Photo assistant Romy Konings @romykoningsphotography