Super Simple Setup for Headshots

A few days ago I found a great article, by Patricia Ramos of, on how to create several looks with a single speedlight. Towards the middle of the article there is a photo of a “beauty light” setup where Bob Harrington, the photographer teaching the workshop, combines the single flash unit and shoot through umbrella with a California Sunbounce Micro Mini reflector (shown at the bottom of this post). I was very intrigued by the setup and so decided to try it with my four legged team to get some headshot of them for my About page.

Essentially, all you’re doing for your key light is placing a flash with a shoot through umbrella above and directly in front of your subject. You’ll then add a reflector below and in front of your subject (opposite your umbrella setup) in order to fill in the shadows.

My lighting setup. Click to enlarge.

Here you'll see a diagram showing how I set this up. I didn’t have a bracket on hand to hold the reflector, so I just gaffer taped it to a couple of boxes (I learned early on to clamp/tape things down when working with dogs).

And lastly, the results of the shoot below.

Useful Gear for this Project

Here are links to the two great reflectors. The California Sunbounce Micro Mini is the once used by Bob Harrington in his workshop, and the Flashpoint Triangular Reflector is the one that I own and used in the shoot above. Enjoy! 


Daniel Perez-Gomez

Daniel Pérez-Gomez is a photographer who has been adopted by three dogs. He lives in New York City and now spends his days giving treats, belly rubs, and going on walks. He is also very passionate about photography and specializes in portraiture and headshots, along with dog photography.