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The Making of a Laker Girl

Most of my studio equipment has been collecting dust since my recent work has all been on location.  I even have a brand new speedotron beauty dish I haven’t even broke in yet.  Shooting in the studio is great, I don’t have to leave home, I have full control of everything and the quality of the photos produced with studio strobes really can’t be matched.  So when Chrisoula contacted me to take some pics for her application to the Laker Girls I jumped at the chance.

It’s been awhile since I made a “for photographers” post so I’ll use this shoot for one.  To be honest, it’s also been awhile since I did any studio work but I wanted Chrisoula to have the best application photos possible while also increasing my chances of scoring free Lakers tickets:) so I played it safe and used a  typical 3 light setup.  I decided to use butterfly lighting with my aforementioned beauty dish.  Everything was gridded to control light spill, except the background light.  I would have probably preferred to have a complete white background instead of this vignette but my home studio is limited in space so I worked with what I had.

Butterfly lighting is a type of lighting made famous in the 30s and 40s in Hollywood by George Hurrell and is widely used as glamour lighting for women.  Its characterized by pronounced lighting on the forehead and cheekbones while casting a small shadow under the nose, the shadow also falls below the chin taking away any unwanted weight.  I had the key light (beauty dish) on a boom to achieve the proper angle and then positioned the hair light to add an accent.  I metered the key light and got a reading of f8, so I set the hair light one stop less as I didn’t want the light on her hair to overpower the rest of the image.  I also placed a reflector below out of the frame to fill any shadows that were a little too deep.  Finally I used a 70-200 to avoid any distortion and fired away while Chrisoula did the rest.  Here’s the set up and the results.  Good luck Chrisoula!