How do you Light?

Q: I am in love with your Anne Hathaway photo. Is the beauty dish really the only light source in this shot or is there reflector fill underneath? I’m amazed at how even the light is on her face.

A: What’s not to love about Anne Hathaway? She’s a dream to photograph and she has the most expressive eyes I have ever seen. The lighting was quite simple. The key light was a Profoto Beauty Dish from the left with a touch of fill directly behind the camera. I rarely fill from below because I want the chin to fall into shadow. Instead, I try to get the key light in just the right spot. The great thing about simple lighting is that you can forget about the light and just concentrate on interacting with the person in front of your lens and when that person you’ve photographing is Anne, that’s a VERY good thing…

Q: Brian I am Partha from India I am really impressed to see yr works, I think u r very comfortable both indoor & outdoor, I hv few questions to ask re indoor shooting, mainly back drop, lighting setup etc

A: Hello Paratha, Indoors or out, always start with a single light and don’t add another until you’ve gotten every drop of beauty out of that one light.

Q: Brian, do you have a small series of photos that a underfunded college art gallery could have on loan. We can fund shipping and printing for mailers but not much else. We are starved for really good stuff. c. 70 lineal feet. asked by radsue

A: I might have just the thing if you can wait until October:

Q: Can I assist for you? asked by jasongrow

A: Only if I can be your official White House Photographer. Ladies and Gentleman, meet my dear friend, former councilman Jason Grow – soon to be the junior Senator from Massachusetts…



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2 thoughts on “How do you Light?”

  1. Boom! Is what i heard as soon as i read your response to Paratha question. I feel what separates you and makes you rise above the sea of photographers is your instinct to capture the portrait during that interactive moment with your clients. Do you feel the way you capture an image that allows the viewer to connect with the subject repeatedly/consistently something that comes from practice or is it innate? As always, thanks for the inspiration!

    1. In many ways, the key to a great portrait is about taking the photographic process out of the equation by having all the technical aspects under control so the focus of the shoot is on the subject. It also helps to run a small set. This is not to say that shoots with a crew of 100 can’t look amazing – they often do. The mood is simply much more intimate if there aren’t lots of people in the background milling around. One approach isn’t necessarily better than the other. They are simply different.

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