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How To Create Studio-Style Portraits Outdoors With Daylight

Studio portraiture doesn't just produce incredible results because you’re in control of the environment, it can also be a ton of fun. That being said, sometimes it can require a lot of equipment like flashes, light stands and backgrounds. If you want to recreate that studio look but don’t have all of the gear to do so, you’re going to want to keep reading and watch the video below. In this episode of Artisan Advice, professional portrait photographer Miguel Quiles shares how he recreates that studio look outdoors with minimal gear and how you can do it too. See more videos like this one on the Alpha Universe YouTube Channel.

For the shots Quiles works on in this video, he uses the Sony Alpha 7R V, which he calls his go-to camera body for studio and location portrait work thanks to its advanced focusing system and high resolution. While he typically chooses those sharp Sony primes for portraits, he’s lately fallen in love with the ease of using a zoom lens, and in this video he ended up using the new Sony 20-70mm f/4 G lens. “The image quality coming from this lens and camera combo is excellent which made it an easy choice for this shoot,” he says. “I also used a battery grip on my camera which makes using it for vertical portraits a lot easier.” Quiles is a big fan of using a battery grip for portraiture, and you can watch him explain more about the benefits HERE.

His studio setup for the outdoors is very simple, consisting of a white V-flat that he constructed himself using two 4 x 8 foot foam boards. He also brings along a rolling table to use as a platform for his reflector, something he says isn’t a necessity but can come in handy so you don’t have to hold the reflector yourself or make your subject worry about it.

Beyond the actual setup, Quiles says that the most important part is shooting at the right time of day. The session in this video took place during mid-day when the sun was coming in from behind the V-flat. “This is an important thing to note as you want to be mindful of the quality of the light that is lighting your subject,” he explains. “Since the light was coming from behind the V-flat, that causes my subject to be in shade which gives a nice, even exposure across the entire image. With the V-flat positioned like an open book, it also provides some nice fill to bring some of the shadows up a bit.” He also used his reflector for some of the shots that he says brought up the shadows even more and created some interesting catch lights in her eyes.

Want some more advice for your next portrait shoot? Check out this playlist and subscribe to the Alpha Universe YouTube Channel for even more videos featuring your favorite creators.


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