Lily Moreno. Ahead of shoots, I set up
mood boards on Pinterest that I share with
everyone involved so they know what the
expectations are. It also gives Caitlin an idea
of the types of wardrobe to bring to a shoot.
Since we had a lot of the ideas pre-planned
for this particular shoot, it ran smoothly with
minimal issues. The only real challenge was
selecting a background color that would
complement her makeup. Fortunately, I
had one of my collapsible backdrops from
Savage that really helped pull our ideas
The lighting consists of two Profoto D2
heads. One was inside of a white Profoto
beauty dish, the other inside of a Profoto 5’
RFi Octa Softbox. Both lights were positioned
behind and above the purple background.
Caitlyn sat about 1-foot away from the
background, with a small table in front of her
that was holding a silver reflector. Positioned
behind me was a 9-foot white seamless
paper backdrop from Savage, which I used
to bounce the light from the D2s to fill in and
expose the image. The beauty dish was at a
slightly higher power, which is what created
the highlight in her hair.
When it comes to lighting, my biggest rule
is to make sure you are using the right light
shaper for your subject and intended result.
If you are going for a portrait look—like the
one you see here—and happen to have
a subject with great skin, it’s preferrable
to use a harder light source like a beauty
dish or umbrella, as it makes their skin
look even better. Soft light shapers, like the
Profoto 5’ RFi Octa Softbox, are great to use
with anyone regardless of their skin type.
Choosing the right light shaper will make
your job in post much easier and yield a
higher quality result.
I am a portrait junkie. I love the challenge
of capturing character and mood in my
images. I work hard every time to create
portraits that grab people’s attention, and
much of my style is influenced by a variety of
photographers whose work I greatly admire,
such as Marco Grob, Gavin O’Neill and Nino
To learn more about the Profoto D2 light,
please visit profoto.com, and follow
@profotousa on Instagram. See more from
Miguel Quiles at miguelquiles.com and
THIS IMAGE WAS TAKEN
AT MY DENVILLE, NEW
JERSEY, STUDIO in April of
this year. The session, with
model Caitlyn Christine, was for my portfolio,
but these images in particular were actually
a lighting test to experiment with a new
Caitlin and I collaborate often, and for
this shoot we worked with makeup artist
TURNING CHALLENGES INTO
AN OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE
UNDERSTAND WHEN TO USE HARD AND
SOFT LIGHT SHAPERS. Try a variety of
shapers in a single shoot to see which flatter
certain types of skin better. In time, your eyes
will be trained so that choosing becomes
CREATE INTERESTING CATCHLIGHTS in your
portraits. I can shoot a nice portrait with one
light, but adding a silver reflector can give you
an interesting catchlight in your subject’s eyes,
drawing even more attention to the image.
IF YOU CAN ONLY USE ONE LIGHT SHAPER,
invest in a large octa. You can create a lot of
different looks using just that one light shaper
with a reflector.
THE SOFTEST, MOST INTERESTING LIGHT is
usually generated at the edges of a softbox.
Get used to feathering your light if you want to
achieve that painterly quality.
DON’T GET BOGGED DOWN IN LIGHTING
RATIOS and other technical details. As you
experiment, you’ll develop your own taste and
aesthetic that might not conform to traditional
lighting principles—and that’s totally okay!
Brought to you by
( 2) PROFOTO
D2 HEADS WITH
(L) 5’ RFI OCTA