Easily Create Dramatic Portraits on a Budget


We photographers love gear. If you’re like me, you probably have a corner (or a basement) filled with modifiers, filters, lenses, lights, and more. The truth is that we don’t need a ton of expensive gear to create dramatic results, and in my latest video, I will show you how to create a Rembrant-style portraits using one off-brand flash in a small modifier.

For this tutorial, I used a Yongnuo Speedlite for Canon cameras, a Yongnuo transmitter, and a Joe McNally 24″ Ezybox. I used the white rear wall of my studio as a backdrop, and since I was a few feet in front of it, the white wall was rendered gray in the photos without having to use a gray paper backdrop. In the tutorial, I also demonstrate how simply turning your subject’s head either to the left or to the right will create a completely different look, without having to move the modifier. 

When I was a beginner, I remember feeling overwhelmed at the prospect of learning how to create portraits with studio lighting. The amount of modifiers, strobes, continuous lights, mounting systems, and other options was very confusing, so I opted to use an off camera flash and experiment with that before diving into any expensive strobes. I think that many of us get started this way, so chances are you have at least some of this equipment lying in your gear graveyard just ready to be experimented with. I hope you enjoy the video!


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