High Key Beauty Portrait with Erik Valind and FlashBender 2

Have you ever wanted that high-key studio look without spending a lot of money? Let’s talk about how to achieve a bright, clean, and eye-catching portrait using only two speedlights, some portable modifiers, and a bounce reflector.

Starting with the main light, we’re going to put a light just above the lens of the camera and just above the eye-line of the model. We’re also going to modify this speedlight with a Rogue FlashBender 2 XL Pro and the included XL Diffusion Panel. The XL Pro will provide a large and soft light source this close to the subject and the diffusion panel will cut down on specular highlights and any sheen that might appear on our model’s face. This main light will also serve to create great looking catchlights in her eyes for an extra “pop."

By putting the light in this position, it will allow the light to move downward and create a contoured look on the model’s cheeks and a small shadow under her nose and under her chin on to her neck. This shadow will create some depth and dimension to her face but could be a bit too dramatic. That’s why we’ll bring in a reflector to fill back in some of those deep shadow areas without completely negating the contoured and dimensional appearance.

Finally, to clean up the entire portrait and make the focus of the image our model, we’ll crank the power up on our speedlight on the background. On this white wall, a lot of light will reflect back and make the background appear seamless and clean. By attaching a Rogue FlashBender 2 Large Reflector on the flash we prevent it from spilling on the back of model. We don’t want light to spill on to her and create a strange highlighted rim light, we simply want it to get it on that background.

By using two speedlights, two Rogue FlashBender 2 modifiers, and a reflector, I now have a beautiful and clean portrait to exhibit the shape of our model’s face.

Final Image:

Erik Valind
Erik Valind


Erik Valind is a freelance photographer, born and raised on the Florida beaches, now living in New York City. Specializing in commercial lifestyle photography and environmental portraiture - airy and energetic imagery defines the style and vision of this top pro photographer. Inspired by the form, activity and diversity of people, Erik has lent his expertise to shape the public image of numerous personas and national brands.

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