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September 30, 2013


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Written by: Lawrence
Were you asked to take portraits of a DJ in his/her element? You are probably asking how can I take a portrait of a DJ mixing at a club and have complete lighting control and time to actual pose the DJ. Well, it’s difficult or near impossible to execute that type of DJ portrait. So what do you do? Well the best thing to do is replicate the lighting of a club at the studio. Don’t worry I’ll show you how to mimic an


Mimic club scene lights for an EDM DJ portrait of DJ Taek in his Garage to communicate that he is a garage EDM DJ.


I used this video as reference for the blue and purple lighting:


  • 1 –  DSLR (Nikon D300s)
  • 3 – FLASHES (Nikon SB-900)
  • 3 – Light modifiers ( 1 Lumiquest Softbox LTP for main light, 2 Gary Fong power snoot for background and edge light)
  • 4 – REMOTE TRIGGERS (Pocketwizard Plus IIIs or Pocketwizard Flex TT5)
  • 3 – LIGHT STANDS ( impact light stands)
  • 2 –  gels  (1 blue and 1 purple color Lee filters)


  1. Meter for the laptop screen displaying the Serato DJ Software.
      1. Take into account exposing for laptop screen and the turntable lights. Tip: Use maximum screen brightness.
      2. Subject main light with Lumiquest softbox LTP light modifier
          1. Positioning – 45 degrees camera right and 2 feet above head
          2. Configuration –  A full stop higher than the laptop screen exposure
          3. Effect – Isolated main light to illuminate the subjects left side of face forming a Rembrandt light

        3.     Subject rim lights (2) and slight background light with Gary Fong power Snoot using purple color gel and blue color gel.

                1. Positioning – 45 degrees behind the subject camera right and left and a foot above head and facing subject 4 feet away from wall.
                2. Configuration – Two full stops higher than your laptop screen exposure.
                3. Effect – Separate subject from the background and slightly add some background light. The Gary Fong Power snoot and the purple and blue gel will replicate the club lights.

        So what do you think? Were you able to closely replicate my image of DJ Taek at the club? I’d love to see what you did by submitting your image to the PhotographySILO flickr group and add the tags “mimic the light” “club scene”Below are links to the gear I used for your convenience:


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About the Author

Lawrence Atienza is a Jack of all Trades and Master of ALL. Whether it be in the realm of Advertising/Advertising operations with over 10+ years of experience to dabbling in the creative realm of photography and founding/writing for, Lawrence Atienza gives his all. You can find him on Google+,Twitter and the major social media outlets.