fitness photography

Studio Setup: Dramatic Figure Lighting

I’m a big fan of beauty lighting--it’s easy to set up, it makes the highlights pop to the heavens. That being said, I did want to experiment with a few different lighting techniques during my shoot with the wonderful Nick from Mazza models.

Out of the many different lighting setups I chose my favorite to share with you all today!

Inspiration

Before I dive into the lighting setup, I’d like to touch on how I decided on this lighting.

One day when I was browsing through Instagram, I came across this photo on Austin model Mark Rector’s page (@markrec_):

Click on the image to see the original post!   Photo: Carlos Medel (@carlosmdlfoto and @chilebravoproductora) | Grooming: Jorge Buccio (@bucciojb) | Model: Mark Rector (@markrec_)

Click on the image to see the original post!

Photo: Carlos Medel (@carlosmdlfoto and @chilebravoproductora) | Grooming: Jorge Buccio (@bucciojb) | Model: Mark Rector (@markrec_)

I loved this image because of the subtle ethereal glow from the light that was surrounding Mark. I also loved the dramatic lighting that highlighted the hair and enhanced Mark’s features.

Because I loved the lighting in this image so much, I decided to give my personal twist on it. Since I loved how the light was wrapping around Mark’s figure, I wanted to intensify that in my personal lighting setup.

On top of this, I thought this might be a good lighting for fitness photography. I imagine the lighting to highlight all the muscles on the model’s body, so instead of a turtle neck, I thought it might be cool for the model to have a minimal wardrobe (if any).

I do want to note that I think the photo that sparked my original inspiration was a campaign shoot for American Crew (@americancrew), a male grooming product company. I believe that this is why they chose to go with a turtleneck to avoid distractions within the image.

Click the image to go to the website I used to create this diagram!

Click the image to go to the website I used to create this diagram!

Lighting Diagram

I placed a medium sized softbox right behind the model to give that ethereal glow. Quite frankly I would have went with a bigger softbox if I could, but I did not have that option. (Because of this I had to stick to a fairly tight frame, limiting me to upper body shots at most.)

If you don’t have a softbox to place right behind the model, I think putting a white/sheer shower curtain behind the model, and then use a big light source (big octobox, softbox, etc) to light the back of the subject would work perfectly as well.

I then placed a 22’ beauty dish with a white diffuser on top at a 45 degree angle to the subject to create a dramatic Rembrandt lighting.

I also want to note that every one of these images are taken from a low angle (even though some of them look as if the camera was at eye level).

Settings

Camera: Sony A7R iii

Lens: Sony 18-105mm F4 G OSS

Aperture: 7.1

Shutter speed: 160

ISO: 100

Final Words

I loved this shoot so much! Thank you Nick for doing such an amazing job with your hair; thank you Mazza Models for setting up this shoot!

I hope you get a chance to test out this lighting.

Be sure to follow Nick and Mazza Models:

https://www.instagram.com/nick_mcc_/

https://www.instagram.com/mazzamodels/