Learn How to Light and Photograph This Cinematic Portrait

Lighting portraits is about more than simply creating a technically correct exposure and rendering your subject in a flattering way. It is your chance to create a certain atmosphere and develop a recognizable personal style. This helpful video tutorial will show you how to use hard lighting to create a cinematic portrait. 

Coming to you from John Gress, this great video tutorial will show you how to use hard light from a reflector, beauty dish, and softbox to create a cinematic portrait, covering light placement, ratios, and much more. Generally, soft light is considered the standard for portrait work simply because it tends to be more flattering, and while that is usually true, hard light is just as valuable a tool. It allows for sharper edges, deeper contrast, more defined contours, and more, all allowing you to create more drama in an image, bring out texture, and make a generally different look than we are generally used to seeing. Even if you generally prefer soft light for portraiture, it is a good exercise in tailoring the light to a preconceived style, especially since you never know what a client might request. Check out the video above for the full rundown from Gress.

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.

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