Quickfire Portrait Session

A common misconception is that a photography portrait session is something that takes a long time, or is a bit of a faff and a drawn-out process. Certainly, it can be – if you want it to be. But it’s not always the case. Here are the results from a shoot that lasted no more than 15 minutes (I think it was closer to 10) with my daughter.

It took me five minutes to set up my lights, then the same to take them down again. So, all in, this shoot last less than 30 minutes and the results are awesome.

I used a very simple lighting setup with two speedlights (flashes) and a gold reflector umbrella – nothing more, with a wireless trigger to fire the flashes. Here’s a rather rudimentary drawing of the setup.

The speedlight behind the model is sat on the floor pointing upwards and slightly towards the wall. Having a white wall is very useful and you can get different shades of grey with the right exposure and lighting. The other flash and gold umbrella are on a stand position off shoulder-left of the model and angled down toward her. I handheld the camera as it’s much easier to work that way for me.

While a nice static portrait is great, being able to show movement also works well too. In the above photograph, I wanted Grace to swoosh her hair and my aim was to try and freeze that motion. We had a number of attempts at this, trying different ‘faces’ to capture a mood.

The shot below is the very last one of our mini session and my favourite. It just captures Grace perfectly.

You are going to get outtakes with any photoshoot, no matter how short. Sometimes these outtakes are actually great shots in their own right. We all love this one.

A black and white edit just seemed to work with these images and it’s a format I gravitate towards with portraiture. I’m not a fan of downloading other peoples presets to use in Lightroom, preferring to do my own thing. I do, however, create my own presets for certain setups to speed up my workflow a little. I try hard to not over-edit a photo, and in Grace’s case, I definitely wanted to keep those freckles visible.

So, with a square metres of space and a light coloured wall I was able to create these studio portraits in no time at all. If you’d like to book a session then head over to my Portraits page to find out more.

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