Try This Simple Portrait Technique Using Two Affordable Off-Camera Speedlights (VIDEO)

Portrait lighting can be an art form in and of itself. But in the quick tutorial below you’ll learn how to create dramatic portraits using nothing more than two basic off-camera speedlights and some simple adjustments.

Gavin Hoey is a freelance photographer and instructor who says, “Being creative with portraits doesn’t mean you must have the biggest flash or the best softbox.” In the video below from AdoramaTV, Hoey demonstrates how to achieve professional-quality results in a home studio using two affordable speedlights.

Hoey begins with two flash units, equally spaced on either side of his model in line with her shoulders. He says this setup produces an “edgy, contrasty, heroic look.” He then rotates the speedlights 90°, bouncing the flash off the walls, for a much softer, moody effect.

For his third setup, Hoey raises the speedlights, bouncing light off the ceiling, to achieve what he calls a “sinister, cinematic look.” It helps, of course, that his home studio has white walls and a white ceiling.

You can find more pro tips on the AdoramaTV YouTube channel, and be sure to check out our earlier tutorial explaining how to use off-camera flash for better outdoor portraits.