The Light Experiment

strobe1-5137I really admire Joey Lawrence’s photography style. The look is dramatic and cinematic, and he really tells a story with every picture that he takes. I first discovered him by accident. I was looking up books on Amazon how to light better in my photos. I stumbled upon Joey’s book, “Photographing Light and Shadow”. I have a long way to go before mastering lighting but I wanted to start playing with some of the techniques he uses.

I rented out a single Profoto B1 strobe light. As much as I wanted to buy it, it was out of my price range (~$2000+) for now.  It seemed like the perfect weekend to rent the light. I already had an outdoor shoot scheduled with a client so I figured this would really give me a great opportunity to up my production value. I also had a few of my sister’s friends who were interested in modeling for me. Unfortunately, mother nature had different plans and it rained all weekend. I ended up having to cancel the shoot with my client and settling on photographing people indoors at home. I’m really fortunate that my house is big enough to set up the lights and camera the way I needed to. With that said, these were still taken at my house in front a light baby blue wall (it looks grey in the photos), and that limited me from really using scenery in a way that I had imagined.


I used a Profoto B1 strobe light strapped to a Profoto Octobox as my key light throughout the shoot. For the most part, it sat to the left of my camera. In the shot below, I had my sister angle the key light at a 45 degree angle from above to give it more of a dramatic look. I photographed the subject from the opposite side of the light so you can really see the shadows fall on her face.  I also used a Canon 630 EX II speed lite which was positioned right behind my subject to really highlight to hair.

Now, the speed lite really drove me nuts throughout the shoot. There were times when it just wouldn’t fire. Truth be told, this pretty much my fault because I bought cheapy wireless triggers off of Amazon. I really need to invest some more money into some reliable triggers. Despite that, the photo still looked pretty good.

The flash didn’t go off in this photo, hence the missing hair light. Her expression, however, is perfect and makes the photo.



I’m happy with how the shoot turned out overall. It definitely helps having great models to photograph. Also, lots of credit goes to my sister, Isma, who did all the makeup and assisted with the posing. I look forward to playing with this look again in an outdoor setting.