Make a studio shoot with speedlites

Hi guys, I'm sorry for not updating my blog for like, ages. Been busy a lot when semester ended then holidays was fantastic with Melbourne and Adelaide. Well I've been shooting a lot as well but I didn't have many time for blogging although I had many great results from photoshoots. I'm so glad to work with a lot talented people to create some such wonderful images. It seems that the poll on my blog shows result that you guys need more tips and tutorials. Very well, I've been always trying to remember to take setup shots for you guys, not in all of photoshoot but yeah I did.

Here is one of the shoot that I setup to use my speedlite as studio strobes to do beauty / makeup shots. Check out the photo first:

So, basically I used one speedlite fire through square softbox on a lightstand high above model head. I added another speedlite fire bounce to a white card board below model's face to fill the shadow under her chin. Here is the setup shot:
And yes, it call 'Hollywood lighting' a.k.a. 'Butterfly lighting'

So, let's move on the next lighting setup. Check out photo first:

A bit high key photo. And now, check out the lighting setup shot, you will figure it out:
Yep, 3 speedlites, 2 from both sides and another one to fill by bouncing to a white card board.

Then, let's move on the last lighting setup:
This is my most favorite shot of the day, I love how the light look very soft, the shadow in the middle of her face created 3D look but still have a few details in the shadow area, filled by a card board (hold by my girlfriend's sister)
Check out the setup shot:

And yes, that's it. You can see that we can always achieve all kind of artificial lighting by any mean any how. It could be continouse lighting, studio flash or small portable flash. The most importance thing is how we manage to put the light direction in the way we want. And that's it (again). I hope you guys like this little lighting tips I share to you and well, feel free to share me yours.

Model: Chloe Morello and Jodie Nixon
Makeup by Chloe Morello
Assistant: Simone
Location: Jodie's house


  1. Good post man. But I don't think that's Butterfly lighting - there's no butterfly shadow under the nose in your images, nor is there the deep shadows in the facial hollows that was the classic look of Hollywood headshots.

    The look you've got there is high key, diffuse, and quite contemporary I think, compared with classic "Hollywood" lighting. What do you think?

  2. Yes veyr good pickup but I think you still can see the butterfly shadow under model's nose in photo#2 but the shadow is a bit soft, filled by another flash. Well I say my lighting is base on that name technique but we can always try something different from the original.

  3. Much enjoy reading your blog ;)

  4. Yeah I think that once you know the basic lighting setups you HAVE to break them or change them - otherwise your work can look just ordinary: just like everyone else's Hollywood glamour shot with the same lighting and composition. To become a good photographer, it's enough to know and use the basic lighting patterns; to become a truly great photographer, we have to create our own. That's what you've done in many of these photos, and it's one of the reasons I think your work is awesome. :)

  5. anh xa`i softbox brand gi vay anh Lam?

  6. Chloes nose looks so much bigger and wider and higher shaped in these photos than what you see of her now on youtube. Were these amateur shots taken before she had a nose job or is the photoshopping and touch ups done poorly?

  7. The standard butterfly lighting is not using fill light - that's why we do not see the butterfly under nose... This "Hollywood" setup you have is called clamp-shell among photographers (- light above and below camera - no matter whether it is bounced or direct). In Hollywood lighting setup - photo no.2 and no.3 have additional kicker/diffused light present (-camera's left side hitting model from behind) - those are not good examples of butterfly lighting, as mentioned photos are 3-lights setups, meanwhile butterfly lighting is 1-light setup... (and Butterfly setup is characteristic by butterfly shape under nose, which is successfully suppressed on your shots by additional light below camera...)

  8. Great photos :) and simply light setup .

    Can u tell us what lens u use for this shots and may be power of speedlights .

    Thank you :) wish u the best .

  9. I like! Whether it's butterfly or Hollywood or just Lam lighting! Can you talk about your camera settings, are you shooting on tripod and what power are your lights at?

    Thanks for the info! Great post!