One Light, Beautiful Light


Before I left on vacation, I teased with this image. This was the stet-up I used for some portraits a few weeks ago during a snow day.

School for the kids had been canceled so they were all running around the house. I was working from home, as I do more often than not anymore (my job has been reogranizing office space and since I rarely “badge in” to the building my physical office is in -it’s roughly 90 minutes away from where I live and I just hardly go there anymore. My job is digital strategy – I can do that from anywhere and often do.)

Anyway, at one point that morning, my eyes opened and I thought “Wow, that’s some great light in there.” Seriously, it was like a lightbulb…or a strobe…went off over my head and I saw it clear as day.

We all love natural light, right? It’s what we started with, it’s what we feel most comfortable with.  Personally, if I had to rank my lighting loves, I’d go:

  1. Natural/Available Light
  2. Steady strobe
  3. Small Flash

I feel most comfortable with the first two, can control it the most. It’s my personal sweet spot. Others have their own strengths, and you have to play to your strength, right?

Anyway,  I finished up what I was working on and took an early lunch. My vision was pretty strong, now I wanted to execute it before I lost it.

I started with my wife. In the past six months, she’s passed a number of personal training tests and has basically opened up her own fitness class and personal training business. She’s teaching kickboxing and full-body HITT classes at a number of gyms and also working at a corporate gym as an instructor too. She has been saying how she needed new head shots (well, I’ve been telling her she needs them for work) so, right after she got ready to go to this corporate gig, I took a few minutes to grab some shots.


And when I say “a few minutes” I mean more like two. She was in a rush, so I had to work quick. Fine with me. Leslie is one of those people that never likes the “posed” photos she does. And I admit, she is challenging at times. When she’s relaxed and it’s impromptu, she’s great. But she’s tough with headshots or more formal shots because I think she thinks to much about it. It’s in her head.

That’s why I wanted to get in-and-out to do these, not give her a lot of time to think about it. Be relaxed. Or as relaxed as possible.

To be honest, she doesn’t like this photo but I do. From a technical perspective, as you can see in the above BTS, this is straight-up window light, camera right. (The window is not the one you see – there’s one further right on the side wall, which you don’t see.)

I don’t think, for this one, I even had the reflector up yet. I just liked how that window light was working and the color of the wall as my background.

Once she left for her job, I kept the set-up up, added the reflector for some bounce, then started to call in my subject: My kids!





After shooting some color images, I went to in-camera B&W. You know how I love the B&W JPGS that the Fuji X100T shoots.




Obviously, these aren’t straight-out-of-the-camera. I did some post production work, to bring up the contrast or increase the blacks. I also used a heavy vignette on some of the images. I also ran them through a define filter to sharpen a bit.

All that said, I’m very happy with these portraits. I didn’t spend a lot of time on them, either behind the camera or in post. The lighting and equipment can’t get much simpler: Window light, reflector (or not), camera set at f.2.

My subjects had some fun, too (do watch the short video at the link below) And the photographer perks aren’t bad either.


Click here to view a video of the full set of photos.And to hear a cool New Jersey band.

If you have any questions about this set, my workflow or whatever, please hit me up in the comments or at

© Mark Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | 2017



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