Facebook Pixel How to Use 5 Different Lighting Scenarios to Create Expert Studio Portraits [video]

How to Use 5 Different Lighting Scenarios to Create Expert Studio Portraits [video]

In this week’s video from COOPH Master Chrissie White, you’ll learn how to use five lighting scenarios to create expert studio portraits.

Here are the 5 tips:

1. Natural Light and Reflector

Place your model next to window and place reflector on the opposite side of the face to create balanced light. For even light, shoot when the light isn’t coming directly through the window.

2. Side lighting

Side lighting creates a moody atmosphere for your image.

Place one light on to one side of the model and black card on the opposite side. This casts a shadow on one side of your models face so the light is split down the middle. if you don’t want it too moody, place a white card on the opposite side instead. That way the models face won’t be in complete shadow.

3. Butterfly lighting

Butterfly Lighting is commonly used for beauty lighting. It is an even light on the model. Place the light in front of the model and above them. You can also use a reflector underneath their face to even out the light.

4. Split lighting

This lighting is dramatic and flashy. Great for shooting athletes and fashion models. Place 2 lights approx 45 degrees behind the model. To soften and make less dramatic, add a butterfly light to the front of the model.

5. Backlighting

Place your light source behind the model to create a hair or rim light. Place another light in front of model or a white card to add some fill to remove the shadow from the face.

Add colored gels to the light to add color and drama. Use cellophane or gels. Be careful of hot lights though.

TIP: Look in the eyes of models for ‘catch-lights’ to see what type of lighting a photographer used.


You may also find these articles helpful:

One Speedlight Portrait Lighting Tutorial

6 Portrait Lighting Patterns Evey Photographer Should Know

10 Ways to take Stunning Portraits

How to Pose and Angle the Body for Better Portraits

Create Beautiful Indoor Portraits Without Flash

How to Create Awesome Portrait Lighting with a Paper Bag an Elastic Band and a Chocolate Donut



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Caz Nowaczyk
Caz Nowaczyk

– the dPS Managing Editor, lives in Wollongong, Australia and has worked as a photographer, filmmaker, and designer in her business, Exposure Arts and Media, for 15 years. Her background extends to Digital Content Management, and Editorial Design. In her spare time, she composes music as Dreamgirl and the Motorist. Since the age of 12, she knew she would be a photographer – the other stuff came as a surprise!

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