Hair light for families and groups in studio

Discussion in 'Portraits and Fashion' started by kerryallan, Oct 28, 2020.

  1. So I’m hoping to find some ideas for a hair light for family groups.

    my studio is only 7’ 9” tall so installing a hair light as a strobe inside a 9”c 36” strip light is not really a workable thing.

    I need to cover groups of up to 5 people so a single strobe on a snoot or small modifier which is what I use for singles is not really the answer.

    other photographers must have dealt with this situation and I’m wondering what they do.

    any ideas appreciated

  2. A good alternative might be to put that strip light flat against the ceiling with an angled mirror at the end.

    If that's not enough headroom you might consider using a couple of high-mounted kicker lights, one on each side, in place of an actual hair light.

    Or if you're willing to do a bit more work you might consider cutting into the ceiling and mount your hair light inside.

    Another possibility, if you understand how to do it, is to put a flat mirror on the ceiling (in the appropriate place) then "project" light into it such that it acts like a hair light. As an example, you might use a parabolic reflector on a studio light head to get a good "throw" on the light, then baffle it to get rid of unwanted spill.

    If you need a better description of any of these just say so. Best of luck.
    kerryallan likes this.
  3. These are great ideas. Thank you.

    I’m going to start with your first option with the flat strip light and a mirror, but I’m going to try it first with cutting a strip of foam core to soften the light.

    thanks again. I’ll let you know how it goes :)

  4. Yeah, white foam core should work great, you just want to make sure that the camera lens can not "see" the lit-up foam core to prevent lens flare. This won't happen with a mirror cuz the light will be so directional. (In either case the hair light WILL be soft due to the (presumed) diffusion panel in the strip light. And light fall-off is gonna be based on distance to the "source," the last diffusion surface, so the foam core panel will probably have slight more fall-off.

    Best of luck with your trials.

    Ps, you should be able to find plastic mirrors for this. I absolutely would not want to use a glass mirror above the subject if there is any chance of it getting broken, fwiw.
    kerryallan likes this.
  5. Maybe a ‘low level’ constant light pointed up at the backdrop behind your subjects to give a rim light effect.
    kerryallan likes this.

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