Two Effective Portrait Lighting Setups

Good lighting makes all the difference in a portrait, and knowing the different styles appropriate for different applications will make you a more versatile and capable creative. This excellent video tutorial features an experienced portrait photographer sharing two different lighting setups — a beauty setup and a more dramatic option — and sharing a lot of helpful advice on how to optimize both approaches to produce the best possible results.

Coming to you from James Quantz Jr, this fantastic video tutorial will show you two different lighting setups and how to quickly switch between them. Perhaps the biggest takeaway from this is how small positioning changes can have a dramatic impact. As you will see, the fundamental difference between the two setups is moving the key light a bit off-center and adjusting subject posing a bit in order to produce deeper and more dramatic shadows. It is a great lesson in how a mastery of basic properties of light can lead to advanced results. Check out the video above for the full rundown.

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.

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