Less is more – Portrait behind the scenes photoshoot

Sometimes, less is more and the more I grow old, the more I apply this to my work. I used to overdo things and take things a bit too far. It works when the work demands it, when you want a surreal look, or when a heavy contrast or oversaturated look suits your story. But for the majority of my work these days, making it simple is sometimes the best approach. Here is a portrait session, where I intentionally held back.

This session is also one of the first where I used my hand-painted backdrops from Gravity studio. I’ve been eyeing these since I’ve seen them used by other fellow photographers and thought I’d give them a shot. Emilie is new to my work, and this was our first time working together. She didn’t have much experience posing so it was also a great experience for me to direct someone who isn’t especially comfortable in front of a camera.

Gear wise we are working with the Canon R5 and the RF 50mm f1.2. I am using 2 Aputure LS300X and for some shots, I added the Pixapro optical snoot.

One 300X is used with a lantern placed overhead in the early shots and the other 300x is placed at approximately a 45°/ 90° angle camera right with the Aputure light dome II. My light placement will influence the poses. On this one, I only used the overhead light and asked her to look at the light and then close her eyes.


For the other shots, the shadows were my guides to fine-tune her poses. The Pixapro Optical snoot was used with the Godox AD600pro. I knew exactly what I wanted to create here, so we just had to experience a bit to place the light perfectly. And for my retouching and color grading process, I used between 5 to 8 layers (usually I have around a dozen and much more on more demanding creations) on these portraits, and here is a summary of the main ones used (in the video). I hope this helped some of you. I will see y’all in the next… but until then, please have a great one!

Less is more - Portrait behind the scenes photoshoothazekware
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