Quick Set-up Speedlite Studio

My friend calls me one day and says he wants some photographs of the band Freetown Collective. His main goal is to promote an event he is having in the upcoming weeks. He also thinks it’s a good idea for the band to have professional photographs for any future PR. Now, shooting musicians is not my forte but i figured I’d give it a try.

So here is the plan, we keep it simple.

Basically we are going to put the band on a high-key background and light them from both sides. I believe the high-key background is one of the most Photoshop friendly based on the intended use of the pictures. Having the lights at an off angle instead of being directly in front of them will allow me to give some dimension and shape to the subjects while varying the ratio between the main light and the fill light will let me control how the shadows on the subjects look.

The Setup

What do we need? Well we will need a studio, a solid backdrop and 4 speedlites. My backdrop, in this case, is a white muslin fabric 10ft. by 20ft.  I will also use two shoot through umbrellas to the left and right – about 45 degrees from the camera centre. These two umbrellas will be lit by one speedlite each. Usually, I do studio work at very low ISO’s – 100 to 200 however due to the limited power of the speedlites I may go higher to ensue I get the exposure I want. High-key photography is best done at a studio, but, since we don’t have a studio we will use the next best thing; a very large room with white walls and a high ceiling.

Muslin backdrops are fairly easy to set up and transport but they are never actually flat. So, to get the background to be a plain solid white we will light it with two speedlites placed on either side of the backdrop pointing at the backdrop at approximately 45 degrees. This will ensure that we cancel out the shadows of the wrinkles.

Let’s see the results.

Not too shabby if I do say so myself.

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