Lighting a portrait is hard. You need to evenly light the background You need highlights. You need a main light for depth and you need a fill light to lessen shadows. Most of the time, coverage is small and harsh so you need to use light modifiers and back up to cover a bigger area.
To light a person from head to toe is another thing. It’s way harder. The same concept applies but you need stronger lights, more effective modifiers and a bigger space. And finally, lighting a group is far from lighting just one person. In a group, people can cover others that they end up in shadows or people closest to the light may drown in it. Lighting a group in costumes and in poses in a 25 by 25 feet space and 12 feet high ceiling with no white spaces is crazy! Yes, that’s what it is!
I focused on what I thought was the most important. I put up a huge backdrop first to make sure even the biggest classes will fit. Next, I had to try and light everyone in the most flattering means possible (more on that in a bit). And finally the setup needs to be versatile enough so that it needs little or no adjustment after all I need to finish a class in 15 minutes.
For lighting, I made sure the coverage of the back light and main light was substantial. The mirror and the reflector sheet on the wall served as my fill light. I used non-woven cloth for the floor to make my post-processing life simpler. I added two LED lights for the far end of the backdrop plus it’s also useful for the BTS videographer. The mirror was also for the models to check on their form easily.
Up next, I’d post on what others would’ve done and what I could’ve done better. Oh no it’s already my third post on the topic!