Senior Portraits in Erie

Senior Season approaches! And me just out of the PPA’s Super Monday Lighting seminar. I was looking for an opportunity to test out some new approaches for metering, white balance and lighting. Julia volunteered to be my model.

In this image, we had a simple two light setup. One softbox to camera right, a reflector off of the subject’s left, and a hair light to back left of camera.

You can see the great light coverage from the softbox, and the nice rectangular catchlights in Julia’s eyes. We used a plain black background to keep the setup simple.

Our practice session took us indoors and outdoors. We managed to wrap up our session just before the rain and wind came. Perhaps I’ll feature an outdoor image as well in the upcoming days.

Great images, Julia! Thanks for being my test subject.

All you Juniors out there…start thinking abour Senior Photos this summer!

Lighting for Dance


I usually light dancers with flat, even lighting, maybe 1 stop different from the fill to main light, which minimizes the shadows on their faces. For the older girls, I will often use a much higher contrast level between main and fill lights to create some depth and a sense of mystery.

In this image you can see that Carly has a very expressive face. I dropped the fill light to create a bit of shadow. While you can still see both of her eyes, the sense of mystery is definitely there.

In editing, I softened the image and pushed the contrast levels at the same time, increasing the emphasis on dark and light without making the image harsh.

Great shot, Carly!