Call Toll Free
9am to 6pm EST Mon-Fri
PhotoStudioSupplies  :  Portrait Lighting Varieties that Every Photographer must know

Portrait Lighting Varieties that Every Photographer must know

Lighting is the most crucial component of photography. It helps you craft out a picture the way you want. Proper lighting is the only factor that can make your picture stand out keeping the other factors at good levels. Whether you are shooting outdoors or inside your studio, you must ensure there is sufficient light for letting you capture awesome pictures. If you are using ambient light, you don't have any option other than softening it. In case you are shooting indoors, you have more flexibility to illuminate your subject the way you want. Light up your subject from the top or simple use shadows and highlights to give your subject a dramatic look. Here are a few popular lighting varieties that are sure to give you amazing portraits.

Broad lighting technique

This form of lighting is not recommended for shooting glamorous portraits, as it makes the subject look chubby. It is good for shooting products, as it will give them a voluminous look. In broad lighting technique, the subject is not lit directly from the front. Instead, the main light is placed at a 45 degrees angle away from the camera and towards the subject. A reflector or fill light can be used to fill in the shadows that the other part of the face will receive. A variation of this would be to ask the subject to turn her face away from the center. The broader side of the face, i.e. the portion that is towards the camera is lit where as the one that is away remains shadowed and appears small. You can use broad lighting technique to shoot 'high-key' portraits. It is also a good option to shoot people with very slim faces.

Butterfly lighting technique

As the name suggests, this light technique creates a butterfly shaped shadow under the subject's nose. Although it is not very much common for shooting everyday portrait, butterfly lighting style can give you flattering portraits that are good for glamour and fashion photography. This style hides your subject's wrinkles, dark spots, etc. and makes her skin look clear whereas broad lighting used to highlight them.

To create butterfly lighting style, you have to light your subject directly from the front but slightly above his head. This helps you to get a shadow under the chin and nose of the subject along with getting prominent cheek bones. It also helps to make your subject look slimmer.

Split lighting style

This form of portrait lighting is good for shooting dramatic images. In this case, you put your light source at a 90 degree angle from the camera towards your subject. The source is placed slightly behind the subject's head. This form of light setup will illuminate half of the part of subject's face and the rest half will remain shadowed. You can use a fill light or a reflector to fill in the darker areas or leave them as such for giving them a dramatic loom.

These are the three most crucial varieties of portrait lighting that are often used by professionals to capture stunning pictures of their models. You can however, always experiment with placement of your lighting source and other factors to come up with your own lighting technique.


Suggested Products