This is Phillip, my 16-year-old son who thinks that he looks like a thug in this shot.

Well, perhaps he does… just a little, but don’t be fooled by the tough looks, he is a sweet, peaceful boy.

Focal length 105mm
Aperture f/18
Shutter 1/160 sec.

Nikon D60
AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED (rental)

Shot in manual mode.

 Lighting: 2 naked White Lightning 1600 flash heads, fired from behind and over the models’ shoulders, with the hot spots crossing in front of them and bouncing back on a large silver reflector to light the face a bit.

Featured in Studio Lighting on February 19, 2010

Featured in the Focus and Lighting group on April 9, 2011


dark, black, people, portrait, grunge, phillip, studio, intense, hoodie, tough, thug, head shot, teen, soft eyes, hood

Freelance photographer specializing in pet photography as well as maternity and newborn portraiture.

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  • Digitalbcon
    Digitalbconover 4 years ago

    Great work with lighting and natural colors and tones!! Excellent portrait work Johanne!!

  • Thank you Blair! :-)

    – Johanne Brunet

  • Joanne  Bradley
    Joanne Bradleyover 4 years ago

    He is looking a tad sinister! Excellent shot mom! The lighting makes this whole exposure works magnificently!

  • Thank you Joanne! It looks quite different for head shots without the hood, because the light then highlights the sides of the face. Our instructor calls it the Star Trek lighting! :-)

    – Johanne Brunet

  • Nathalie Chaput
    Nathalie Chaputover 4 years ago

    Awesome shot Johanne!!

  • Thank you Nathalie!

    – Johanne Brunet

  • Joanne  Bradley
    Joanne Bradleyover 4 years ago

    Well now that you mention it, he does sorta look like a character in Star Wars with the hood (okay not the same as Star Trek but it’s sci-fi) maybe a jedi warrior?!
    Have heard of this technique, maybe read it in an artcile, you certainly used it to great advantage here! It’s an amazing shot!

  • Vikram Franklin
    Vikram Franklinover 4 years ago

    Hey – that’s WOW lighting ….
    REALLY, REALLY cool that you’ve now got all this fantastic lighting to play with.
    I LOVE portraiture that is differently lit and this is perfect!!
    PS: for a thug, he’s got eyes that are way too soft – LOL!!

  • Yep! Great fun!!! But, you know what… I think that I still prefer working with natural light for portrait. Maybe this will change with time, we’ll see. Thank you for your great comment, my friend!

    – Johanne Brunet

  • George Parapadakis (monocotylidono)
    George Parapad...over 4 years ago

    “he is a sweet, peaceful boy” – You are not doing his street cred any favors, are you? LOL Great portrait and composition!

  • Actually, he seems torn between the sexy thug look and the nice and bright boy style… He recently started wearing shirts to school and has collected quite a lot of interested stares from girls, so he now wants more shirts! LOL! Thank you for your kind words, George!

    – Johanne Brunet

  • oddoutlet
    oddoutletover 4 years ago

    IT’s a pretty nice, strong portrait! How did you light it?

  • Thank you! This is the lighting setup below.

    2 naked Elinchrom 1600, fired from behind and over the model’s shoulders, with the hot spots crossing in front of the model and bouncing back on a large silver reflector.

    – Johanne Brunet

  • Carole Brunet
    Carole Brunetover 4 years ago

    Great portrait with fantastic lightning. Strong image !!!

  • Thank you sister! :-)

    – Johanne Brunet

  • Squealia
    Squealiaover 4 years ago

    Superb lighting and quality, excellent Johanne

  • Thanks, Celia! :-)

    – Johanne Brunet

  • micheleirene
    micheleireneover 4 years ago

    Technically this is really nicely done Johanne and I love the emotion/expression/feel this gives off. He comes across as a tough guy but there is something about his eyes that say different :) Fantastic work :)

  • :-) Thank you bunches Shelly! Please see my reply to George above, you’ll understand the soft eye thing… LOL!

    – Johanne Brunet

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