Fine Art Portraits With One Light

Fine art portraits often evoke a sense of emotion and tell a story through careful composition, lighting, and posing. While achieving this style might seem complex, it can be done with minimal equipment, even in a small home studio. Let's explore how you can create stunning fine art portraits using just a single light, a backdrop, and some basic modifiers.

Coming to you from Jiggie Alejandrino, this informative video demonstrates the process of creating fine art portraits using the Nanlite Pavotube Slim 60C LED light and a collapsible backdrop from Kate Backdrops. Alejandrino emphasizes the portability and ease of use of both products, making them ideal for photographers who work in various locations or have limited studio space. The video highlights the importance of understanding light behavior and using simple tools like foam boards to shape and control light for desired effects. 

Alejandrino demonstrates how the strip light design of the Nanlite Pavotube creates a soft yet directional light source, perfect for sculpting facial features and adding depth to the image. He pairs this with the backdrop, which provides a non-reflective surface, eliminating unwanted hot spots and contributing to the overall fine art aesthetic. By adjusting the light's position and utilizing a foam board to bounce light back onto the subject, Alejandrino achieves a beautifully balanced and dramatic portrait.

The video showcases the effectiveness of using minimal gear to create impactful fine art portraits. By understanding the qualities of light and utilizing simple modifiers, you can achieve professional results without the need for extensive equipment. This approach is particularly valuable for photographers who are just starting or prefer a more mobile setup. Check out the video above for the full rundown from Alejandrino.

If you would like to continue learning about how to light a portrait, be sure to check out "Illuminating The Face: Lighting for Headshots and Portraits With Peter Hurley!"

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

Log in or register to post comments