Try This Simple and Cool, Two-Speedlite Portrait

Here is a simple and cool, two-Speedlite portrait technique that you can use to impress your clients and friends.

One Speedlite is positioned off to the side and in front of your subject. The other Speedlite is placed directly behind the subject’s head. Both Speedlites are set to ETTL or iTTL.

You’ll need a piece of black material for your background, which you can buy at a fabric store for a few dollars.

Notice the cool halo that is created by the Speedlite that is placed behind the subject. When using this technique, you will need to adjust the output of that Speedlite, usually set at less than full power, to avoid the hair being too overexposed. Here I dialed down the Speedlite power on my Canon 580EX II to -2.

To light the side of the model that is facing the camera, I used a Canon 580EX II set at -1. Here, too, you will need to experiment with the Speedlite's output to get a good exposure. To soften the light, I used an accessory called a Rogue FlashBender that spreads and shapes the light.

The behind-the-scenes shot (from the test shoot) shows my set up. The main Speedlite (with the Rogue FlashBender) attached is on the right. From this angle, you can see the Speedlite that I positioned behind the subject's head.

Info on the Rogue FlashBender:

I fired both Speedlites with my Canon ST-E2 wireless transmitter:

For more speedlite lighting tips, see my apps.

Explore the light,

P.S. Hey, come on one of my workshops. I'll help you master your flash!