Shooting with Wireless Flash: Studio Portraits

with Jim Sugar
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Shooting with Wireless Flash: Studio Portraits
Video duration: 0s 30m 53s Beginner


In the Shooting with Wireless Flash series, award-winning photographer Jim Sugar demonstrates his approach to using off-camera flash in a variety of lighting scenarios, sharing practical tips along the way.

In this installment, Jim shows how to light and shoot a portrait with a dramatic look. He demonstrates a variety of inexpensive lighting tools—clamps, gels, and other light modifiers—to light the subject and the background. He also shows how to offer direction, pose the subject, and make him or her feel more comfortable. The course wraps up with tips on distinct ways to effectively light and separate the subject from the background, using gels, adjusting lights, and modifying the ratios between multiple strobes and the ambient light in the room.

Topics include:
  • Preparing for a shoot
  • Positioning the subject
  • Using light modifiers, clamps, and other lighting accessories
  • Assessing the results
  • Tips to remember for lighting and shooting portraits


- Hi, I'm photographer Jim Sugar. Thanks for joining me in this look at wireless flash in action. In this series, I show how I use wireless strobe units like this one to approach a variety of different lighting and shooting situations. These strobes and some accessories have made working with artificial light more convenient than ever. In the first installment in the series, we did a product shot. We hung a bicycle in the studio, and positioned five wireless strobes, like this one, to get a photo that could be used in a catalog, a magazine, or a web site.

In this installment, we're going to take on an assignment that's a bit more challenging. We're going to shoot a portrait of a woman in a dramatic Scottish warrior costume. This is the kind of shot you might see in a travel or educational magazine. All right, so we've made a few changes. Our job is not only to light our subject in the background in effective ways, but also to direct and work with our subject to get a photo that has the kind of exotic look and feel that her costume and personality deserve.

It's going to be fun, so let's get started.

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