How I Got The Shot How To

Exploring the Ringlight

As a way to share different lighting styles I am learning, I wanted to start a new category called “How I got the shot”. My goal is to share how I lit the shot, with diagrams so you can recreate the image if you like it! As always if you have questions or need 1 on 1 help please feel free to reach out in the comments or via email!

Maddy was an awesome sport for letting me capture a few behind the scenes shots to explain how this shot was lit.

What is a ring light?

A ring light is a constant light source in the shape of a ring. Ring lights come in two different types, LED and Fluorescent. I suggest purchasing the LED version so you do not have to worry about replacing bulbs or it falling over and damaging the bulb.

The great thing about ring lights is they give even lighting across the entire face. This type of lighting really works well for beauty and portraits because it makes the eyes really pop.

Note: The ring light creates very distinct catchlights in the eyes. Some people like them others do not. When you try out the ring light, change the angle in which you are capturing the image to change how the catchlights look in the photo. 

Ringlights usually cost under $100 and can be used for many different things in your studio.

Here is a link to the one pictured above: https://amzn.to/2r6pa3r

Getting Started

Framing

For this shot, as you can see I am using a step latter to get above my subject and I am shooting through the center of the ring light. Compositionally I am keeping my subject in the right third of the image in order to keep the interest in the photo.

Background

As you can see from the image I am shooting from above and just using the grey paper be the background. Because the light is in close it falls off fast from the subject thus making the background go dark.

Camera Settings

  • Aperture Priority Mode at Lowest Aperture (1.2 – 1/4)
  • ISO set to Auto ISO
  • White balance set to Auto

Whenever I use my ring light, I switch my camera to aperture priority mode and set my ISO to auto. Because the light is nice and close to the subject you wont have to worry about any grain in the image.

 Sorry for the over exposed cell phone shot. I was mid session when I took this :)  Sorry for the over exposed cell phone shot. I was mid session when I took this 🙂

This simple lighting setup is used for all of my seniors when they do a studio session and it almost always sell.