Mollie, Meet Lighting.

comments 9

Okay, so there are two things I really dig right now: One is my childhood friend, Mollie and the other is alternative light sources.

Mollie is the kid I grew up with and have basically been best friends since we met back in 1996. We both come from large families and both were into razor scooters, cargo pants, wire rim glasses, Lord of the Rings, techno music, being home schooled, you know, hip culture. I’ve always felt free to be myself around her, which is something I’ve always found difficult around others. She’s a little weird but I get a kick out of her quirks -I love that she thinks she’s hilarious and is quite open about it. She also gets overwhelmingly hyper almost at any given time, unless she’s hungry. Most of our friendship pretty much is me watching her do lord-knows-what and us cracking up over truly dumb stuff. A perfect friend, right? Yes. Everyone needs a Mollie. I should also mention that in addition to being my friend, Mollie is a stunning fashion stylist and make up artist. She’s studied at AIU London and is an Apparel Studies major at the University of Arkansas (go hogs.) She’s also been under the instruction of Kandee Johnson -all in all, Mollie is wildly talented. Check her blog out -you’ll pick up a few tips or two and/or turn green with envy, should you lack any of her abilities, like I do.

Yesterday Mollie and I hung out, something that was long overdue. Mollie had a few make up looks she wanted to try out and we recreated two shots from our first photo shoot together (10th grade?). I wanted to goof off with some unconventional available light sources, my other love. I have been shooting in a studio almost every day for the last eleven months and sometimes I get sick of strobes. Okay, that’s a lie. I’m coming clean right now: my name is Bri Suitt and I hate strobes. To all you strobe purists out there: I love constant lighting so spit in my face, tar and feather my eye balls, I said it and I meant it! I’ve always blamed my love of constant lighting on my back ground in cinema but whether that’s true or not I still hate strobes. All that said, Mollie and I’s shoot only had one agenda for me: I couldn’t shoot with conventional lights. No studio lights, No speedlights. No 6-in-1 reflector kits. And we were shooting inside after dusk. I opted to use a rechargeable LED flash light and some glow sticks. I had one of those clamp work lights too, but it wasn’t very directional and was too flat for what I was going for. All of the shots are a one light set up, except for the drapes. I used Mollie’s table lamp as a fill light that spilled into a back ground light as well. Anyway, it was a blast and I get a kick out of  going into a shoot not sure what you’re going to get. I should have taken some behind the scenes photos, because it was pretty crazy looking set up. Anyway, here are some of my favorites from our shoot.

(The last two shots are the recreations from a past shoot. Check Mollie’s blog out to see the originals -they should be coming soon) And there you have it! If you’re a budding photographer who wants to try out studio-like lighting but don’t have the funds to get a fancy set up. Psh! Who needs a fancy set up? Practice lighting patterns with what you’ve got around your house. It’s a blast and it’s rewarding. What lighting tricks have you tried that work? And if you like Mollie’s look, please take the time to check out her blog and leave a kind word.

Ciao y’all.


  1. Amy Sowell says

    Bri-LOVE your photos! I first read Mollie’s blog, I’ve known Mollie for quite sometime from having to gone to church with she and her family. I saw she had a plug for your blog and in turn came on over to read your blog. I’m in the photography world myself. I generally do outdoor stuff. I prefer the architecture. BUT on days it’s too cold or raining I’d love to do some indoor stuff. But I’m unsure how and what lighting to use etc. How do I achieve a beautiful studio look with out looking too terribly amateur? Again your’s are BEAUTIFUL!!!! Please help! I know how you feel a/b a public blog I just started as well. LOVE your photos!!!

    • you have several options, really. in the long run, it may be more beneficial to buy an inexpensive two light strobe set up. you can achieve good studio lighting with two lights (and a reflector of sorts helps!). it may not be great, but it can be good. you can also slave speed lights, which can be cheaper if you already have one or two. if you don’t, you might look into strobes. there are also constant lights out there, that I really like, but most people prefer strobes. but if you’re interested, westscott has several decently priced constant lights you can look into (i’m a huge fan of their new ice light, as well as their TD6) I like to soften my lights with soft boxes instead of umbrellas, but to each their own. that’s more trial and error then anything.

      lighting is definitely a daunting and huge element of photography, so starting out can be frightening. i would suggest starting out small. a one or two light set up with a patient and still model to help you learn slowly. there are basic lighting patterns that you can use to achieve different looks too -i plan to blog more about lighting soon but i hope i have steered you in a helpful direction.

      I’m glad you know mollie -she is a blast and a half!

  2. Diane Booth says

    OMgosh!!! Bri-great job, and Mollie-I want a copy of every one of these!!!

  3. Oh goodness Bri, these turned out better than I imagined! I love to work with you Ms. Talented. I can’t wait for our next venture!

  4. Summer Baker says

    Girl – these photos are freaking ridiculous… LOVE THEM!! I want to be you when I grow up! ;-) And you’re a good writer too…. why haven’t I ever visited your blog?

    • Thanks for your kind words, Summer! I’ve had a private blog on and off since high school but this is my first public blog, so it’s new to even myself. Thanks for stopping by :)

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