Tag Archive for: portraits

Use light in different ways for awesome portraits and more

One of the things we probably all start with are books with lighting diagrams.
Now don’t get me wrong, they are awesome to get a general idea of the lighting setup.
However I strongly believe you should be able to “read the light” by just following the shadows, it’s often not really important to know which light sources are used, as long as you can recreate the look.

We can shoot images with a beauty dish that can very close to a small softbox for example, but when we start to use Fresnell’s you can very quickly see the difference between a reflector and the Fresnell, this is something that you will quickly pickup when you start to look at the shadows and the different way the shadows change.

But then it becomes really interesting when you add the angle into play.
Of course we all know that changing the angle from higher to lower can have a huge impact in your end result, but for me the real game changer was when I started to move around my model. Just a slight movement to left or right can make an image look totally different.

Let’s take a look at some of the images I took of Nadine during a recent workshop.

I’m using our Geekoto GT400 here with the Geekoto small softbox and grid
On the other side I’m using GT400 and the Nanlite striplight with grid.

One of the things I love about a striplight is that you can use it in a lot of different situations where you need to light a large area but don’t want any spill light.
In this case I’m using the striplight angled, this way I lights both my model and the background. By changing the angle of the striplight slightly I can balance the light on the background and the model. A very powerful technique.

By moving just a little but you can create some more powerful portraits.

But sometimes you need a little bit more intensity?
Make it black and white, add some grain and contrast….. “instant art” and yes this one was in focus 😀
(inside joke).

But let’s take one more step to the side and also include the striplight.
Now this one won’t be the shot you like or even want to try, but sometimes clients want something a bit different. And it’s just one step more to the side. Always try it.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out.
We really appreciate a share on social media.

Successful portraits workshops

One of the workshops I teach is called “Succesvolle portretten” or in English “Successful portraits”.
In this workshop I give (as the name suggests) a lot of attention to shooting a portrait.
For me a portrait is much more than “just a headshot” although there is a section on the headshot, which of course is a very vital and important part of most successful studios.


The main thing about this workshop is that we don’t work with professional models…. I use the attendees of the workshops as my models, and also let them shoot each other, because in my opinion it’s very important to experience what it is like to be in front of the camera before you can successfully stand behind it for a good portrait.


A good portrait for me shows the character of the person in front of the camera, with model/fashion/glamour etc. photography you can get away with letting your model “act” but with portraits I always want something more, a little bit of the soul of the person in front of your lens so to say, so making sure your subject is at ease before and during the shoot is important. To make sure that you get them at ease, it’s very helpful that you have been in that situation yourself.


After some more serious techniques and setups I always try to play around a bit with the group creating what I call “a semi avatar”.
In this part I try to get some more humor in the shots so to say. Today I’m gonna show some of these shots from the last workshop “Successful portraits” and remember these are not models just people that probably “hate” to be photographed 😀

Succesvolle portretten May 15 2015   0162

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Some classic portraits with Manon

We recently started with a completely new workshop line up, all the new workshops in Emmeloord now have a certain theme.
Recently the theme was “vintage lighting and fashion”
After explaining the approach of the techniques to the attendees I started adding some more modern twists and today you can see some of the results.


Model : Manon


Manon October 3 2014 2019BW

Manon October 3 2014 0531

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Street faces New York

Today a special post.
First of all it’s my birthday (43 already).
But second of all it’s a post about a topic I really love will on a trip, street faces.
Just random people I shoot on the street, some know and pose but most are just shot as they walk by, stand waiting etc.


For me finding the character, the unique person or just the “weird” ones is the challenge.
One could call it a self assignment 😀
I hope you enjoy watching them as much as I enjoyed shooting them.

April 28 2014 s  (221 of 477)-Edit

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