Quick and simple soft light for headshots

It’s a matter of personal taste: generally, when lighting people for portraits, men or women, I tend to prefer soft lightrather than harder, more dramatic settings.
I have a simple, go-to scheme that I set up every time I want something soft in a pinch. To make it, I use two large softboxes (I own two Elinchrom 90 x 110 cm Rotalux) and I place them as if they had to make the side walls of a tunnel of light; these “walls” are slightly at an angle, converging towards the model, like in the schematic below.

The lights are placed at the same height, a little higher than the model, and the panels are vertical.

Here are three portraits I took with very small variations of this setup.

Sony alpha 6500, Lensbaby
Canon EOS 5D, EF 70-200L IS
Canon EOS 5D, EF 70-200L IS

Leave a Comment