This is photographer Jill Greenberg. She has a signature look, which I really admire. Although, if you go to her website jillgreenberg.com, you’ll see she’s not a one-trick pony. She has, however branded a unique look and it’s actually known as “The Jill Greenberg Look.” I had the privilege of working with Jill in the late 90s when I was at advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi. She is one cool chick.
How does she achieve this look? Take a blue or grey background, fire a blue spotlight at it, then dodge and burn the hell out of the shadows and highlights of your subject. That’s it, right? Many have tried to copy her look but no one does it quite like Jill. If you search YouTube you’ll find a few tutorials on how to try and achieve her look. Jill has perfected this because it works and it sells. It really makes her subjects leap off the page and screen.
Below I found a few lighting diagram theories people have created suggesting her setup. Even though I know her, she probably wouldn’t tell me how she does it. Photographers are viciously protective of their setups. So keep experimenting with your look. And perhaps one day Jill will share some of her secrets.
“Theoretical” Greenberg setups to try for yourself: