When shooting a portrait, at times you may want a glowing and ethereal look, but only have one speedlight available to light your subject. In this video I show you how to utilize a window and one speedlight to achieve a high-key look that is great for flattering female subjects!
First, we place our subject in front of a window so that the window light wraps around her face. I adjust the exposure so that the highlights are not blown out. By placing the subject very close to the window we highlight her jaw and create a completely white background.
Next we introduce a speedlight to light her face. To make the light soft, we need to find a way to make it larger, and therefore I’ve added a Flashbender2 XL to create a large reflective panel to bounce soft light onto my subject. To take it a step further I can add a diffusion panel to the Flashbender2 XL Pro to give me even more flattering light for her face. Now we have a pure white background and softlight on her face. I’ve centered the speedlight as much as possible to help reduce shadows, yet there are still some shadows under her nose and neck.
The help soften the shadows, we ask the model to hold a white reflector. This catches the light from the speedlight and the window, then bounces it back into the model’s face. This give us overall very even and glowing light to help use put the finishing touches on our ethereal look!
Camera Settings: 85mm Lens, ISO 640, 1/125, f/4