Mark Wallace’s Sculpting Light Portrait Session | Profoto

Mark Wallace’s Sculpting Light Portrait Session

13 June, 2013

Written by: Ron Egatz

Mark Wallace never stops educating the world on how to take better photographs. Here he not only provides variants of the final image, but also a short video demonstrating how he manipulates shadows during a model’s portrait session. Below is the full story in his own words.

“One of my favorite tools for creating portraits is the Profoto Beauty Dish, also known as the Softlight Reflector White,” writes Mark. “When I use the Beauty Dish, I’m able to sculpt the light on my model’s face. It’s a tool that allows me to embrace shadows, instead of trying to eliminate them.”


“In these images I was able to elevate the Beauty Dish just above the model while keeping the light on-axis with the camera angle. This creates shadows under the cheekbones and chin to add form and depth to the image. I used a 5 degree grid on the background to add a small vignette to the photos. It’s a simple yet effective set.”


“By using a white background instead of gray, I was able to create a similar, yet distinct look.”


“For those who prefer fewer shadows it’s simple to add a reflector jus under the chin of your model. Adding a reflector to the existing setup creates a similar, yet softer look.”

For more lighting and photography tips from Mark Wallace, check out his new instant streaming workshop, live workshop, and free content at and

All images, videos, and quotes in this post are used with permission and ©Mark Wallace, all rights reserved; story is ©Profoto. Please respect and support photographers’ rights. Feel free to link to this blog post, but please do not replicate or repost elsewhere without written permission.

Written by: Ron Egatz