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PhotoStudioSupplies  :  Portrait Lighting Techniques That Every Photographer Must Know

Portrait Lighting Techniques That Every Photographer Must Know

Shooting portraits is not as easy as it sounds. You have to make sure your lighting ratio is appropriate apart from playing with your studio lighting equipments to create dramatic effects in your photographs. Most portraits aim at giving a flattering look to the subject. A good portrait is one that makes your subject look beautiful by hiding the wrinkles and spots on their face (if any). Here are a few techniques that you must learn to boost your photographic career.

Split Lighting Technique

As its name suggests, this form of photography studio lighting splits the face into two halves, one side being lighted properly, whereas the other one being shadowed. This form of lighting is used to give a dramatic look to your subject. It is considered to be most appropriate for men, due to a masculine look that it gives. For achieving this form of lighting, place your light source to the sides of your subject, almost 90 degrees from his/her nose. Adjust the angle of the light so that the dark side of the subject's face remains dark.

Loop Lighting Technique

This form of lighting aims at creating a small shadow under the subject's nose and cheeks. These shadows don't touch each other. To achieve this, place your key light slightly higher than your subject's eye level and inclined about 30 to 40 degree downwards. The angle will vary for each case so keep experimenting with your subject and your studio lighting equipments.

Rembrandt Lighting

This form of lighting aims at creating a triangle of shadow on the subject's nose and cheek area. People often confuse this with the loop pattern in which the shadows of cheeks and nose don't meet. In this case, all the three shadows meet each other, thereby creating a triangle. Rembrandt lighting is more dramatic and is great for shooting artistic portraits. Since it gives a darker look to your subject, it's not recommended for shooting fashion photographs. Make your subject stand at an angle to the light. Place your key light above the camera at a level that is higher than the subject's head so that the shadows of the cheeks meet with that of the nose creating a triangle. Adjust the level of the light to get a proper triangle.

Butterfly Lighting

This form of photography studio lighting aims at creating a butterfly shaped shadow under the subject's nose. In this case, place the light source behind the camera. The level of the light should be higher than that of the subject's eye level. This form of lighting is great for fashion photography as it gives a lattering look to your subject.
Study your subject's face to identify which form of lighting suits him/her. Choose accordingly and don't hesitate to experiment with the setup in order to come up with your own style.

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