After my other post where I featured the 5 best light shapers for fashion photography, it’s time to talk about the best light shapers for portrait photography! Together with model Naomi @ Max Models I spent a few hours in my studio to test 5 Profoto light shapers, using the Profoto B2 (250Ws) and D1 (500Ws) flashes.
To start with the OCF Softbox 1,3 x 1,3. This light shaper is perfect when it’s really close to the model, it looks like if I also used a light in the background, but I didn’t. I think this is a beautiful effect! Softboxes are always great for portraits and because of its compact size en light weight, it’s perfect for on the go!
The Profoto B2 is an battery-powered flash system and works great both on location and in the studio. It’s very compact and easy to use. The power of this flash light is amazing and keeps surprising me. For the first portraits we used the OCF Beauty Dish White 2″. I wanted to combine daylight and flashlight, so I set the aperture to f/1.4 and the shutter to 1/180 sec. The Beauty Dish made it real soft in combination with these setting.
The Zoom Reflector (with or without grids) is maybe not the first light shaper you think of when making portraits, but I must admit I really liked the results! The harsh shadows will make it a more dramatic portrait. You have to play with the distance of the Zoom Reflector to the model. The position of the face is also very important.
The Umbrella Deep Translucent + Backpanel was my favorite! I think this light shaper is also great for fashion photography and it’s very multifunctional. Removing the backpanel will create a softer portrait. Play with the postion of the umbrella, moving the umbrella more to the side instead of straight to the model will give you a beautiful light source!
The Profoto D1 is my favorite studio flashlight, especially in combination with the Softbox RFi Octa 5″ and I had to use again for this shoot! The Octa Softbox is an octagonal light-shaping tool that is great for portraiture and fashion work because the light will ‘wrap’ around the subject. The shadows are soft and because of the big size (150cm) you can use this light shaping tool on it’s own to lighten up a model from head to toe. If I want to create a beautiful but soft light, I definitely go for this one. When the softbox is very close to the model, the light will be soft, more distance between the model and the softbox means more contrast!
What is your favorite light shaper for portraits?