Photography is a very technical craft and, at times, the prospect of pulling all of the necessary elements together to create a great shot can lead us to overcomplicate things. However, as you develop your skill, you’ll find that simplicity is the handmaiden of beauty and that trying to do too much can be an impediment to successful work. Successful portrait and fashion photographer out of New York, Jeff Rojas, often employs very basic lighting techniques and he recently shared another behind the scenes look at some of his work where he displays three simple lighting setups using only a reflective umbrella.
Setup #1 – Placing the Umbrella at 45°
Setup #2 – Placing the light above the Subject
Setup #3 – (Split Lighting) Placing the light at 90°
Behind the scene videos like this are great because they show you that even the professionals at a higher level in the industry take simple approaches to creating great work. Perhaps the biggest benefit is that these techniques are easy and relatively inexpensive to recreate. You may not own the highest rated equipment, but you don’t always need to if you have a little knowledge and ingenuity. Of course, if you are ready to upgrade your lighting accessories, I’ve linked the ones Jeff used below.
If you are interested in an umbrella like the you one Jeff used, he is the Westcott 7′ Parabolic Umbrella.
For Diffusion, he used the Profoto 1 Stop Front Diffuser for the 7′ Reflector.