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How to achieve high-impact portraits on a black background in a small home studio
How to achieve high-impact portraits on a black background in a small home studio

Creating high-impact portraits on a black background in a small home studio can be a daunting task. But with the right techniques, you can create stunning portraits that will look amazing and captivate your audience. In this blog post, we will discuss the steps you need to take in order to create beautiful, dramatic portraits in a small home studio using a black background. We will discuss the equipment you need, how to set up the studio, and the lighting techniques that can help you achieve the perfect shot.

Over the years i have done a lot of shoot on black backgrounds.


My Typical Two Light Setup


When creating dramatic portraits on a black background, it is important to have the right setup, and be able to control your light in a small studio. For my setup, I am using Commando Cloth from Chicago Canvas and Supply for my backdrop. Commando Cloth is a heavy-duty cotton cloth that is wrinkle-resistant, light-blocking, and highly durable. With its matte black finish, it is perfect for creating high-impact portraits in a small home studio. 

The Light

While creating stunning, high-impact portraits in a home studio requires careful consideration of the light. To achieve dramatic results, you must be albe to control the ambient light and have your camera set at the right shutter speed, typically i am anywhere between 1/125 - 1/200 second.

Controlling the light

Depending on your space you might not have enough room to move your subject away from the bacground, in that case you can use grids, flags or V-Flats to control light spill.

All these tools will help to add dimension to the portrait, resulting in a more dynamic composition.

The Subject

The subject of your portrait is the main focal point of the images and deserves special attention, so depending on the look and feel youre going for you can add a background or hair light for seperation, like the image above i use a background light with a purple gell to add some drama and to create seperation to the image.

Click image below to check out the BTS.


Experiment with different lighting positions and setups until you find the one that works best for your photography.

Know that you have the basic knowledge along with the right equipment to acheive your desired look and feel you can put your own setup together and create your signature style.



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