The following pictures are from three completely different beauty series by lighting and style though they all have one thing in common – only ONE light was used to create every singe shot.
There is a simple rule that I use – start with one light, make it work and then add more if you need to.
Let’s start with the most dramatic creative series in this post - Paulina Panas @ Wilhelmina Models for L’Officiel. I used P-Soft Reflector (Silver Beauty Dish) with Honeycomb Grid to get crisp contrast and deep shadows without being too harsh. Important to remember that the closer the light is to your subject, the softer the light. My P-Soft Reflector was placed high above the face, angled down at my right side. The light and the model were close enough to the background to create the gradient that you see on the background, which I love - it adds interest to the shots. I used dark blue, white and yellow backgrounds; same type of lighting tightened them together.
The braided beauty series with model Nadya Kurgan @ One Management was shot for Elle. I wanted to achieve a soft romantic feeling and most importantly - maintain details in the model’s hair (it’s always harder to do with darker shades). I used a softer light this time – Octabox 75 cm and placed it a bit to the right and up high to eliminate the shadow on the background. I placed white reflector to fill in the shadow on the right side of the model’s face.
You can always use this third set up when the shape is the most important element of the photograph. The portrait is of model Daria Mikhailova @ New York Models for Harper’s Bazaar. I positioned the model in front of a big Softbox 60 x 100 cm. The light created this beautiful angel-like glow. You can control the intensity of the light to get the desired glow.
I love to experiment with my lighting, but there is a rule I always follow – if the photograph looks great, I just shoot and don’t overcomplicate by making slight adjustments that won’t make any difference!