Square Lighting with a Strobe

Welcome to an ideal studio setup for headshot photography. Using a single strobe and softbox, such as the Profoto D-1 with a 3’ Profoto Octa softbox, we can lock in our settings for consistent results. We recommend using a softbox with a baffle, if possible, because it further softens the light and is more flattering for the subjects.

As is true when lighting most other scenarios, start setting up with one light and get the settings right before moving on to set up multiple lights (or in this case, reflectors, which act as additional light sources).

Position the strobe overhead and place the subject so that the overhead lighting does not cause a racoon effect with shadows around the eyes. This usually happens when the subject is standing directly under the light source, so move the subject back accordingly. Then, begin adding and adjusting reflectors below and on the sides to complete the square lighting setup. In the studio, we use the Westcott eyelighter, which creates a nicely wrapped catchlight in the subject’s eyes.