We’re crazy about great one-light portraits, and fashion and portrait photographer Jeff Rojas is an expert at creating and honing these minimalist setups. In his latest video, he shows you how a single light placed above your subject makes for beautiful portraits in both color and black and white.
“The properties of light are going to be very important when lighting this specific setup,” says Rojas. “So […] let’s discuss and break down what each element is doing.”
His only light source is a small Phottix Indra 360, placed inside a 59-inch parabolic softobox (also Phottix) with both an inner and outter one-stop diffusion panel. This setup gives Rojas a very soft transition between highlight and shadows, which is exactly what he’s looking for.
The light is placed about 2 feet above his subject, who is standing right at the outer edge of the modifier in order to be fully covered by the light as it feathers into shadow. Finally, the light itself is angled slightly forward so it’s not pointing straight down—this helps to fill in shadows on the face, and allows Rojas to create “all those little subtle tones” you see in the example shots.
To see all those example shots and learn how to set this up for yourself, click play on the video at the top. And if you like Rojas’ concise explanation of a simple-yet-powerful setup, definitely visit his YouTube channel for more videos like this.