Secrets From the Set by Michael Kubeisy

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Happy New Year everyone. Allow me to share with you a Secret from the Set.

I’m Mike Kubeisy, a Light Leader for Photoflex. I’ve been shooting on Hollywood sets for over 35 years, and I’ve acquired many Secrets from the Set. Let’s get started.

Today we’ll be using the Photoflex 42” 5-in-1 MultiDisk Reflector.

When shooting outdoor portraits, you’ll want to place the sun behind your subject and bounce light back into your subject’s face. Here you see the 42” reflector with the white fabric on a reflector arm bouncing onto Emily’s face.

If you look closely into her eyes, you’ll see the reflector.

Here are a few more tips. I know some of you don’t have a reflector arm and that you might have your subject hold the reflector while you’re shooting. I find that when adjusting the bounce and they’re holding it, you now put unnecessary pressure on your subject. They’re already worried about looking good, and now they have to subconsciously think about something else. Get a reflector arm or at the very least have a friend assist you. They can hold the reflector for you. You can see in Emily’s hair it was a very windy day. I mounted the reflector arm onto a C-stand with a sand bag supporting it so that it doesn’t fall and injure anyone from the wind.

Okay, now we start to advance ourselves with the next Secret. You’ll need to get another MultiDisk. I know you’re thinking, “Wow, this guy has deep pockets and expects me to buy another one.” I do. If you’re not ready to invest in yourself, remember your competition will. I assure you the looks you will achieve with this next Secret will advance your skills to a new level and you’ll understand light and how to control it.

Emily has blond hair, the highlight on her hair from the sun is blowing out details. Look at the previous photo. We’re going to fix that with your new second MultiDisk Reflector. The base of the reflector is a diffuser. Get your friend/assistant to hold the reflector high above to diffuse the sunlight on your subject’s hair. Here you can see Garrett doing just that.

Look at how the details in her hair appear much more pleasing.

Remember how I mentioned your competition? Well here’s the Secret from the Set that’s going to put you so far ahead of them. You need to get a ½ CTO gel that will cover your diffuser.

It’s a warming gel that will add that extra bit of warmth to put you over the top into the pro’s league. You can get them here:…

In the photo that I shared I was using a Lee Filter, and the link is for a Roscoe Filter. The ½ CTO is the same. It all depends on your local vendor and what they have in stock.

You place the ½ CTO gel on top of the diffuser and then diffuse the sunlight with the added gel. Notice the gel on the diffuser that Garrett’s holding?

This added warmth will put that professional look on your images. Look how much nicer Emily’s hair and overall look is.

I hope you enjoyed my Secret from the Set.

That’s a wrap, fade to black.

Mike Kubeisy has been shooting celebrities in Hollywood for over 30 years as a Motion Picture and Television Stills Photographer. No photographer’s work is seen by more people than Mike’s work worldwide.

Mike is best known for his work on countless popular shows that are household names: CSI, CSI: Miami, CSI: NY, JAG, Boston Legal, Pretty Little Liars to name a few. His current projects are NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles, Black-ish, and SEAL Team.

Mike is a Trainer for KelbyOne, and a PhotoFlex Light Leader. Mike is also a member of the International Cinematographers Guild.

You can view Mike’s work at, and follow him on Facebook at 4Stills, and Instagram @mike4stills.

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