Having been to a workshop with beauty and fashion photographer Matthew Jordan Smith as one of the instructors, I can say for sure that Matthew is not only a creative and accomplished photographer, but also one who really studies his craft. In that workshop, he talked about how he would take a light modifier and take a series of photos with that modifier at different heights, angles, and distances, just to be able to see the difference in lighting. He even makes his assistants do this so they can learn to see the nuances in lighting. He may be known to some as the model whisperer, but to me, he’s also a lighting master craftsman.
In his post on Pixiq, Matthew talks about how to select the right light modifier in order to get the desired effect that you are looking for. There are times when you want a hard light on a female model, while other times, a beauty dish is more appropriate. And then there other times where you want to mix both quality of light together.
Here is one of the images he talks about in his post. In this case, he used a beauty dish for the face, a 7″ grid on the hair for texture, and an umbrella to give a nice soft light in the background.
To master photography is to master lighting. And don’t worry that he uses primarily Profotos. You can still achieve these look with other brands. It’s all about seeing the light first and foremost.
Be sure to read Matthew Jordan Smith’s How to Choose the Right Light to learn more.
You can see more of Matthew Jordan Smith’s work at his website: matthewjordansmith.com