Soft, Warm and Glowing

Learn how to capture gorgeous portraits like this one.

Want to create your own version of this classic, wonderfully soft beauty portrait? Find out how you can do just that with standard modifiers and straightforward techniques. 

You’ll discover the positioning and power of each light, plus learn how to use edge and fill lighting to achieve truly breath-taking results.

In this class:

  • Studio photography: How to shoot portrait images
  • How to shoot creative portraiture using four lights
  • How to control exposure of studio lights
  • Creative edge lighting studio setup

If you enjoy this class, check out Soft and Fresh Lighting.

Questions? Please post them in the comments section below.


  1. Hi Karl,
    As I see, you combined your 3 Siros 800s with Siros 800s L , i think Siros 800s L ‘s modelling light is fixed, we can’t adjust it. (its not proportional like Siros 800s) Is it problem for you when you combine Siros 800s L with Siros 800s ?

    I have a 3 Siros 800s and i would like to add 2 Siros too.

    Scenerio 1) One Siros 800S L (i can use it outdoor too) and the one Siros400s (lighter than Siros800s)
    Scenario 2) Two Siros 800s L
    Scenario 3) One Siros800s L and one Siros800s
    I cant decide , could you give me and idea please

    1. Hi Zee, why would the modelling light be a problem for the photograph when the modelling lights aren’t recorded in the photograph, only the flash is recorded? I’m afraid I can’t decide what your best Siros choices are as I don’t know what the majority of your work will be. Your decision on the lights you need has to be based on whether you will spend most time in the studio or most time on location or 50/50 and/or whether you are shooting near power, in the mountains, fashion etc etc. Sorry but the variables are too great for me to decide.

      1. Hi Karl,
        thank you for your reply, you are right, modeling light isnt recorded in the photography but the reason of my question is, i was watching two-light male portrait class, when you take hot seat, Urs said that “if the modeling light is full, we will have a yellow shift on the background”. Than you decreased the power of modeling light. if we dont want to modeling light as full and if we have to decrease the power thats why i have worry about it, if I combine Siros 800s L with Siros 800s. Thats why i asked.

        1. Hi Zee, it may be that on that shoot Urs was going for a shallow depth of field so shooting at a large aperture which means there was a slight risk of modelling light pollution from his Canon at 1/200th and a large aperture, but in nearly all instances where you are shoot f8, f11, f16 at 1/250th of more it is very unlikely that there will be light pollution from the modelling lights. The way I check (and you will see this in many of our classes here) is that I take the flash trigger off and I take a picture, that way if any light is recorded then it is from the modelling lights (or other ambient light) if the picture is black then I know that all ambient lighting is having no affect on my image.

          1. Hi Karl, thank you very much , and additionally i realised Siros 800 L ‘s modeling light is 25w and Siros 800s’s modeling light is 300w . (i didnt use Siros L but i would like to buy)Even if we combine Siros L with Siros 800s and even there is a light pollution because of the large aperture, no need to adjust siros L’s modeling light to get rid of pollution, its just 25 watt. Its already low value if we compare to Siros 800s’ 300 watt modeling light, its just my idea ,sorry if i am wrong

          2. Hi Zee, yes that would be correct but you know you can turn all your modelling lights off if you want to anyway, that doesn’t affect the flash at all so you can set up with your modelling light to see what you’re doing and then just turn them off for shooting if you need to but I doubt you will need to. My modelling lights are 650W and I don’t have to turn them off very often.

  2. Artemus

    Great video Karl,

    My only question is,
    not everybody can own the lights you own, so when it comes to the typical photographer that owns like a AD600 Godox for instance, how would you change the slightest up and down brightness you are able to do with your lights to get that perfect lighting? For instance, yours can do 2.8, 2.9, 3.0, 3.1 etc.. Godox does by fractions but not as technical and precise as your lights do. What would we as photographers change to correct he light power to be precise? F/ Stops or Shutterspeed?

    1. Hi, my lights and many others operate with a 1/10th of a stop adjustment. Some lights operate in half a stop or quarter of a stop (2.5 tenths). It’s not very often that I adjust just in one tenth of a stop it is mostly in half stops and then sometimes more precise. If you wanted one tenth of a stop brighter then just moving your light a few inches closer would do the same thing but this is something you would have to test to check as it will vary depending on the modifier that you are using. What fractions do your lights operate on? Yes you could adjust the aperture slightly but making that adjustment will affect all of the lights exposure at once and is not the way I would recommend working. Shutter speeds have no bearing on flash in a studio setting it only has an effect on the daylight or ambient light (continuous light).

  3. I knew it would pop up, Karl’s least favourite gear – the light meter 😉.
    Honestly I thought about getting one myself for quite some time to get the “correct” exposure, but you are absolutely right Karl, it’s about the right exposure.
    I’ve heard from one photographer that he actually carried a light meter with him and every now and than checked if his assumption about the light was right, just to get a better feel for light. But he also said he never used it during a shoot, and for the same reason you don’t. He doesn’t want to limit his creative freedom.

      1. Thank you Karl. I have been a member for some time, but several things at work and some private issues prevented me from watching the videos, so I still have a number to watch. But I can definitely say they are super helpful.

  4. Gary Stasiuk

    Really nice result. I am really starting to see the subtle differences you stress in terms of intentionally adjusting the “volume” on the light to achieve a result. This is a great example. I try to digest at least five videos a day as I run through this library of demonstrations. The slow part is putting it into action.. where usually only one a day can be fully tucked under the belt. Loads of food for thought. Thanks.

  5. Thank you. One of my favorite setups, but I learned a lot from this video. I too fall victim to the light meter too often long time habit going back to my film days. I also need to get a monitor up to view instead of the back of my camera. Great job, big help.

    On another note I have a setup with the stobe coming from the back camera-left lighting the back of the head. I then have a large white foamboard in front reflecting that onto the face. The quality of the light I get from that is what I believe you created here being a darker than your meter.
    Than you.


  6. Karl the same results can be achived by using the Rim Lighting technique by using 3 lights instead of 4.

    1. Light for the background to create a ball of light and seperation from background.
    2. Using a peice of cloth on the reactagular softbox to crate rim light on the model.
    3. Use one more light from the front.

    Is my aproach right ?

  7. amazing setup !
    I haven’t used an umbrella for a long time but this look made me want to try it again.

    amazing as always Karl, I want you to know that you really really inspire me every time and I’m talking about you everyday that you are my true inspiration in lighting and photography.

    There is a huge difference if I’m watching you than anybody else because you ( inspire me ) first and then I learn from you , I knew you since 2010 I think and from that time I’m following you and learning from you and recommending you for everyone I know.

    I wish you the best and I’m greatly appreciated for your continuous inspiration.


  8. Hi Karl, I notice you shooting on a ladder frequently, is that because the model is tall, or are you shooting slightly down on her?

    1. Hi Erik, a bit of both and I’m also quite short 5ft 7, (1m 70) so a model with heels on is too high for me at ground level plus being on the ladder I can go up and down until I see what looks good, without the ladder then I don’t have that option.

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