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Rim-Light Profile Silhouettes Made Easy

This is one of those super-quick, 30-second tricks that have a big impact. First, aim your softbox sideways and have your subject stand directly in front of the center of it (facing your camera). Now, have them turn sideways toward the softbox, so they’re facing it directly. Next, have your subject take a step or two sideways, closer to you (while you’re at your camera position). Have them step sideways toward you until they have actually moved past the edge of the softbox (so there’s no softbox in front of them at all. It’s actually a foot or so behind them, from your vantage point at the camera). Now take your shot. What you’ll get is a strong rim light all the way around the profile of your subject, and the rest will appear as a black silhouette. If you want a little light to appear on the cheek facing the camera, have them move just a few inches back toward the light until you see that cheek lit just a tiny bit (this is where the modeling light comes in handy, because you can see a preview of how the light will fall).

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