Different Lights for Portrait Photography Lighting Explained

Knowing the purpose of and controlling each light casting on your model is instrumental in portrait photography.

Coming to you from professional portrait and wedding photographer Jiggie Alejandrino, this video breaks down the different components of portrait lighting and illustrates what each light aims to do to your photograph. 

In this video, Alejandrino makes use of the Sony WRC1M Wireless Radio Commander on his Sony a7R IV to control each of the different Sony F60RM speedlites to be used on the shoot. By taking sample photos with only one of the four different lights turned on, he is able to isolate and illustrate the effect of each on the shot. 

There are many different techniques for portrait photography lighting; however, there are some fundamentals shared by almost all of them. In this video, Alejandrino explains and illustrates the intended effects of a rim light, a fill light, hair light, and of course, the main light and how they work together to give a dynamic effect on the overall outcome of the portrait and give emphasis to certain aspects of the person’s features. Mastery of portrait lighting means controlling every light source that affects the image and eliminating any unwanted ones as well. Understanding what each light is for and why it is placed a certain way can absolutely help the photographer achieve the effect that they intend to have on the image. 

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1 Comment
Tomas Baliukonis's picture

Nice! Thanks a lot! Very informative video 👍🏻