Why Photographers Prefer Multi-Light Setups for Portraits

If you are new to artificial lighting, you might wonder why some photographers employ complex multi-light setups for some portrait work. This great video shows you the difference between what you can accomplish with a single light setup versus using multiple lights, which will illuminate why more complex setups are often preferred.

Coming to you from Daniel Norton with Adorama TV, this awesome video will show you the difference between what you can accomplish with a single light portrait setup versus a multi-light setup. The first thing to note is that you can absolutely create great portraits using just a single light (for example, you can see how to create one here), and in fact, it is generally better to learn artificial lighting with a single light to start, as you will be more easily able to learn the behavior of light without the more complex interactions between multiple sources. Nonetheless, multi-light setups allow you to create more complex and nuanced effects that can really help make your subject pop. Norton also shows a very neat trick using a CTO gel to change the color of the background. Check out the video above for the full rundown. 

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1 Comment

David Love's picture

I use 4 b800s. Two for rim and hair lights, one for fill and one for key. Then depending on which way the pose is I can alter the power. I call it lighting on purpose rather than just filling an area with light and shooting blindly only to have to dodge and burn to get the shading and tones you want.