Two Straightforward One-light Portrait Setups

When it comes to creating compelling, professional-level portraits, it can be easy to think that you need a complex, multi-light setup in order to get worthwhile results. And while two or three lights can certainly give you more versatility, you can absolutely create compelling results with just one light. This excellent video tutorial will show you two effective and straightforward one-light setups for portraits. 

Coming to you from Profoto, this great video tutorial will show two one-light setups for portrait photos. If you are new to working with artificial light, starting with a single source is very important. There are fundamental properties of light (things like fall-off and subject-to-source distance) that every photographer should have a strong intuitive grasp of, as these control the technical and creative aspects of the image, and using multiple lights right off the bat tends to muddy the waters a bit and make it difficult to learn. Once you master a single light, you'll find it far easier and quicker to learn more complex setups. 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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