At Lin and Jirsa, Wedding Photographers in Los Angeles, we always strive to create a very personalized product for each one of our photo shoots. We like to plan each session with our clients to ensure that we can bring out their taste, style and personalities in their photos.

During the planning meeting for this portrait session, our couple talked about their lives having careers in the fashion industry. They talked about how they wanted the overall shoot to have a very fashion oriented, magazine feel to it. Something like what you might see in Vogue or W Magazine.

So, we planned accordingly. We knew that to pull off that ultra-soft lighting look we would need several off camera lights and several lighting modifiers. What might surprise you is that we used a fairly inexpensive lighting setup to pull off the effect.

How It Was Shot

Our camera was a Canon EOS 5D Mark III equipped with a Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L Lens and set to the following:

Shutter: 1/200
Aperture: F/9.0
ISO: 100

Diagram created with

The above diagram shows our lighting setup. To the left of the camera, we were using a single off camera pocket strobe firing into a Standard 43″ Umbrella at full power. We used the umbrella modified flash for our female subject as it creates a softer light. Behind that was another pocket strobe firing into a 22″ Pockets Strobe Beauty Dish aimed at our male subject, also at full power.

To the right of the male subject is a pocket strobe with a 1/4 Grid at 1/16th power adding a soft kiss of rim lighting to our male subjects face. Finally, we have the natural window lighting coming in behind the subjects.

We used Pocket Wizard Plus IIIs to trigger all of the strobes. I was pleased with our final results, especially since we didn’t use full strobes and 8′ octobox modifiers like seen in typical magazine shoots.

The final image was edited in Lightroom 4 using the SLR Lounge LR4 Preset System. We will be doing a full detailed tutorial on the Photoshop retouching in the near future where we will show how to clean up the entire image, from cleaning skin, to enhancing eyes, to removing distracting background elements and lighting effects, etc.

Final Image