My work has always been heavily influenced by the old masters of the Flemish Primitives and the era of the Pre-Raphaelites. There is something about these styles that has always drawn me in and inspired me. These also influenced the main aesthetics in my work.
For this blog I wanted to show you one of my most recent set-ups, I am absolutely in love with. I have used only a single light with a reflector for these images.
For this specific set, I teamed up with my model Mara, who has the perfect Rre-Raphaelite face and Mr Mortimer’s Wife who designed the crowns. The clothing is mostly thrifted second hand with exception of the black waspie, which is from Moriel Corsetry.
In most of my set-ups, I prefer to work with a soft and diffused light. To achieve this, I always use an Octabox (100cm) with a Siros 800. The ability of fine adjusting the strength of the Siros 800 is often crucial with these kinds of images. I tend to start with the strength of between 2,5 and 3,5 and take it from there to see how it works on my model and the clothes.
My set-up with the Octabox is as follows:
We positioned the Octabox right beside the model with the centre of it around her head and shoulders. We angled it in such a way that some of the sidelight could spill on the background as a fill-in. This allowed the backdrop to not be completely dark while still having the model stand out. Since I work on a very low power output, I had to keep the lamp close to my subject, around 40 to 50cm beside her.
While we could use this set-up for very dark and dramatic portraiture, my goal was to have a soft and romantic set. To achieve this goal, I took my two meters reflector with the white side and positioned it in a 45 degrees angle in front of my model. The reflector enabled the light to bounce from the Octabox to the right side of the model as well as fill in the side of the backdrop. With this method, I was able to keep some of the shadows and sculpt a beautiful portrait without losing the atmosphere of the final image.
This kind of set-up is a lot of fun as it offers great variety. I highly recommend to try it for yourselves once you have the chance!
Hope you enjoyed.