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5 Ways to Use Umbrellas to Shoot Stunning Portraits


If you’re looking to expand your skill set in shooting portraits with umbrellas, check out this 8-minute video by photographer Miguel Quiles. In it, he introduces different types of umbrellas and then shares 5 different ways he uses them to create stunning portraits.

Here’s a rundown of the different setups discussed (watch the video for a closer look at each one):

#1. Front Centered Above

Light centered in front of the model and raised to where the bottom of the modifier is 4 feet or higher.

#2. Sandwich Lighting

Light raised above subjects head by 2 feet or more and a reflector is placed below.

#3. Hair/Edge/Separation Light

Place the light 30 to 150 degrees behind the subjects head.

#4. 45er

Light placed 2 to 3 feet away at 45 degrees to the left or right of the subject and the bottom of the umbrella is eye level with the subject.

#5. Background

You can use your umbrella as a backdrop for a unique look, placing a large umbrella behind the subject and two 4×8 white v-flats (or a white wall) about 3 feet in front.

You can find more of Quiles’ work on his website, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

(via Miguel Quiles via Fstoppers)

P.S. As Quiles mentions in this video, he previously also created one on 5 ways to use a beauty dish.