Bounce Light Technique

I have a regular client here in town that occasionally needs portraits shot of newly hired employee's. This company must be doing well if they're are adding staff. Anyway, rather than packing all my gear and heading out to their offices, I have their new hires come to my place.

When shooting portraits, you typically push the background out of focus in order to drive the viewers eye to the subject. By doing so, I'm able to use my home as an environment similar to an office setting.

Let's look at the lighting I used to create this portrait. I used 2 SB-800 strobes to light this portrait. For the main or key light, I used one of my favorite techniques, bouncing light into a wall or something similar.

Where do I bounce my light? I first imagine where I would like a "window" of light coming from, that tells me where I need to bounce the light. In this situation, I used the cabinets in my kitchen as a bounce source.

Just imagine a softbox in the location where the cabinets are located.

If you find yourself needing a softer light source, spread you light out and illuminate a larger section of wall.

The background light was another SB-800 placed on a coffee table and pointed up to the ceiling. Both strobes where fired via CLS both at 1/16 power. This is what the illumination on the background looks like without the subject standing in.

When using a bounce technique for lighting, the key is to imagine where you would normally place a modifier like a softbox if you where using one. The softness of the light produced from this bounce technique is in direct proportion to the size of the area illuminated.