How to create a retro portrait | Profoto (US)

How to create a retro portrait

09 September, 2021

Written by: Profoto & Lindsay Adler

Inspired by photographer Miles Aldrige’s latest exhibition in New York, fashion photographer Lindsay Adler wanted to create an image that touched on several of his unique qualities: the bright and usual color combinations, vintage style, and 'off' model expressions (vacant, lost, surprised). These are the steps Lindsay took to create her own retro-styled image.

Step 1. Set up a Savage Universal Tulip background to create an upbeat and saturated background for your subject. Position a Profoto D2 and a Profoto Umbrella Shallow White S on both sides for even illumination, equally distant from the background and with the same power settings.

Step 2.
Add another Profoto D2 as your main light source on the left-hand side of the frame. Use it without any modifiers to create hard light that casts crisp shadows on the subject’s face.

Step 3. Finally, place a Profoto D2 as fill light at the center-right of the frame and add a Profoto Umbrella Deep White L, Umbrella Diffuser, and cyan gel. This soft light source acts as a subtle fill, creating a blue/cyan color cast in the shadows of the subject. Choosing this color for the shadows helps to build upon the usual color combinations often used by Miles Aldridge.

Tip
To create a retro vibe, Lindsay complemented the lighting with typical vintage styling in the hair, makeup and wardrobe. She also played around with a variety of different poses and expressions and settled on this doll-like and slightly surprised look to reflect Miles Aldridge’s 'off' model expressions.

Camera settings

  • Camera: Canon R5
  • Lens: Canon RF 24-105mm F4L IS USM
  • Shutter Speed: 1/200
  • Aperture: F11
  • ISO: 400

About
You can find the full making of this image and many more in Lindsay's "Editorial Fashion" episode of her monthly subscription platform Learn+.

Written by: Profoto & Lindsay Adler

Products used in this story

Profoto D2

The world’s fastest monolight with TTL
From $1,990.00

Umbrella Shallow White

A lightweight umbrella for wide, even light with softness
From $95.00

Umbrella Deep White

A versatile and zoomable umbrella for a softer light
From $209.00

Air Remote TTL

Wirelessly connects your AirTTL light with your camera
From $439.00

Umbrella Diffuser

Turns your White or Silver Umbrella into a softbox
From $49.00