Creating Impactful Studio Portraits

Create Impactful Studio Portraits with Sal Cincotta

Watch this live unscripted photoshoot with Sal as he puts together 3 different lighting situations step-by-step.

In this course, Sal will cover 3 different lighting techniques that you can use to create impactful studio portraits for your clients. During this session, you will watch Sal set up lights, take Q&A, explain the why behind what he is doing, show you how to use a light meter, and more. In addition, you will see images right out of camera while he is shooting tethered.

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About this course

watch the photo shoot in real time

Follow along with the shoot in real time. See how Sal instructs the models and communicates with everyone to work through challenges during the shoot.


Lighting will undoubedly shape your final images. See how Sal uses studio strobes to create soft natural looking light.


Camera | Canon 5DM4
Lens | Canon 85mm 1.2
Lens | Canon 100mm 2.8
Lens | Canon 24-70 2.8
Lighting | Profoto B1 x3
Lighting Modifiers | Profoto 5ft Octa Box
Lighting Modifiers | Westcott Eyelighter
Stands | Profoto Lightstands & Avenger Baby Stand
Backdrop | Oliphant Studios
Trigger | Profoto Canon TTL
Light Meter | Sekonic L-478

set up

There are 3 different set ups Sal will be using during this shoot.

First set-up is a 5ft Profoto Octa-Box with a Profoto B1 and a Westcott Eye-lighter

Second lighting set-up is a Profoto White Beauty Dish with a Profoto B1 and a Profoto B1 with a 20 degree grid for a kicker light. Bonus shot added red gel.

Third lighting set-up will be a Profoto B1 with 5ft Octa-Box, a Profoto B1 and a 20 degree grid for a kicker light, and a Profoto B1 w 20 degree grid for backdrop light.


The wardrobe was a mix of outfits from

Look 1 | Cold Shoulder Gown
Look 2 | Lush Velvet Gown
Look 3 | Coming soon

final wrap-up

Sal will break down his final thoughts and cover any adjustments made during the shoot to get the final image.

Final images

This Post Has 18 Comments

  1. This is very informative Sal. love you

  2. Carey Daffern

    Thanks Sal, that was great. Will you be posting the photos to your Instagram page, I would love to see more of them.

  3. Just watched. Wonderful, love to see the work through and the final shots. Thank You

  4. Albert Wong

    Awesome!! Enjoyed the video. Thank you Sal and your Team!! Look forward to the next one

  5. Awesome video. Thank you so much for sharing the knowledge.

  6. So generous to share this shoot and your time!! Many thanks from down-under (Australia)

  7. This was fantastic. Cannot wait for what is next. I learned a lot today. Thank you.

  8. I mean this in the nicest possible way – it’s great to see you having the same problems with tethering as I do. Fantastic content as ever, though. Keep um coming, Sal.

  9. Great video Sal!
    I must say I prefer live tutorials over prerecorded.
    All the good stuff is in the parts that are typically cut out.
    I do have question regarding light:
    I know higher end strobes read power at from 0-10 power and adjust at 1/10th stop increments.
    If I have (3) Flashpoint Xplor 600 strobes that adjust from 1-1/256th power, at 1/3 stop increments.
    How does that compare to strobes that adjust from 0-10 at 1/10th increments?
    I’ve never shot with a Profoto or Elinchrome, etc.

  10. There was lots of good shit here. But I think the best part was seeing Sal struggle with things……it happens to all of us.

  11. A good reason to go to wireless tethering!

  12. Love your work Sal. Thank-you and the girls. Look forward to your next video.

  13. Enjoyed the video! Always appreciate watching others work. Two surprises and both related…

    First, talk about the whites of the eyes. A subtly not often discussed.

    Second, no talk of catch lights in the eyes from the main light. You came close when talking about the height of the main light, the results lack catchlights, something my mentor called “dead eyes”. One of your authors recently wrote an article on the subject. “10 and 2”!

    Congrats and continued success,

  14. Glad to see I’m not the only one that has trouble maintaining tethering. Ha!

  15. Hi Sal –

    2 things – one, doesn’t appear to be working – here’s the error message: “Your message wasn’t delivered to because the address couldn’t be found, or is unable to receive mail. ”

    Here’s the text from the email I was trying to send:

    First, thank you (and your team!) for the live course – I watched it twice (once live, once recorded as I had to step out). Appreciate your candor, as well as your overall teaching style – informative, collaborative, not very “gimmicky” – “just the fact’s ma’am”…

    Wanted to suggest a topic on retouching – how much is enough, what is too little/too much. Likely a matter of taste, as well as what the client may need/want (beyond the usual blemish/stray hair removal). Fashion being different from corporate headshots. If not a course, then would welcome to hear your opinions. I’m currently leaning more towards a more natural look with minimal skin retouching – but seeing it being pushed by a number of other headshot guys around me. But am thinking about reconsidering my position (at least somewhat) and would value hearing your input/opinion, and seeing what you do.

    Looking forward to watching other courses!


    PS – the folks at Tether Tools have probably already recommended their “Jerk Stopper” – I use it, along with a longer cord and haven’t run into issues of the cord coming out.


    Barry Braunstein Photography

    Headshots, Portraits, Theatre/Events
    Studio/Office: (781) 237-0495/Cell:(617)312-0104

    1. thanks barry!! we are looking into the email right now. as for tether tools… I ordered the jerk stopper last night!! 🙂

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