Setting up a Self Portrait

A few weeks back I decided that it was time to update my social media presence with a new profile picture. I always struggle with these as I want to do something that grabs your eye, but in a flattering way.  The added challenge is including props like a camera, and choosing the right wardrobe to go with the shot.  


By no means am I a model.  It is, however, very important to get in front of the camera from time to time to remind myself of the kind of things that I put models through, and what they need to do to help make the shot work.

For the technical stuff, this was  3 light setup.  I used a pair of Canon 430EXII's mounted on stands on either side and slightly behind me.  The important thing with these lights is that they must be equidistant from the subject otherwise the lighting will look funny.  They must also be set to the same power output and usually use the same modifier.

The front light was one of the SPC's Bowens Gemini strobes with a medium size softbox.   I dialed in the power for this one to be fairly low, as I didn't want my flashes to be overpowered by the larger strobe.

For the backdrop, I used a black bedsheet that I bought some time ago.  The strobe lighting allows me to get the camera aperture and shutterspeed to a point where there's no detail in the backdrop.  What little light actually does fall on the background can be quickly removed in post-production.

Have a look below for the lighting diagram for these.  The softbox placement is fairly crude in the diagram, it was in fact a bit more centered.  The question is, which photo do you like the best?

Cheers!