Behind the Scenes of an Epic Portrait

Last week I went on a photo excursion with my Professional Imaging class. To say it was amazing would be an understatement. (Exhausting, yes, but amazing.) One of the first things we learned about was making an epic portrait using a snooted speed light. Many people can take a nice picture in natural lighting but it is nearly impossible to take a portrait that has the subject and the background well-exposed at the same time.


Finding the Balance

By adding a speed light and balancing the light on the model, you can get the model and the background exposed well at the same time. This way you don’t have to bracket and merge your photos together later, which is more difficult to do with a model since they are more likely to move than a landscape.

Simply set your camera to expose the background well, making your model too dark. For my epic portrait I had an ISO of 100, aperture was F11, and shutter speed of 1/200 seconds. Then I brought in my speed light and placed it on the side of my model to make a triangle between me, the light, and the model. I softened the light by turning it down and moving it a little farther away from my model.

Why Epic Portraits?

Making an epic portrait is a unique style. By balancing the light on the model’s face, it will look like a natural light and you will still be able to see the beautiful background (usually the sky) as well.