A Fundamental Lighting Setup for Every Portrait Photographer: Three Point Lighting

An easy lighting setup for any photographer to have in their arsenal that creates a highly sought-after look would have to be three point lighting. It’s classic, it’s easy, and you can achieve several highly stylized looks in only mere seconds by moving a light or two.

Coming to you from Daniel Norton and Adorama is a quick and very easy way to create a portrait using three point lighting. This lighting style has been a go-to of mine for a long time, and it allows you to go from a very fashionable image to an image that has a more dour or serious style very quickly. Norton uses a set of Profoto lighting including the B1x 500 Air TTL and a B2 250 Air TTL with a 2x3 OCF Softbox, a 1x3 OCF Strip Softbox, and an OCF Grid. If shooting inside and not competing against other light sources, you can definitely achieve a very similar look with speedlights as well.

One great takeaway from Norton is the ease with which you can change the look of the image by moving only one light position to give you two different looks within seconds. If you shoot a three point lighting setup, what do you prefer about the look that this lighting strategy creates? 

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1 Comment

Richard Bradbury's picture

Daniels on set videos are always good to watch. Tons on content on his Channel and Adoramas