A sample text widget

Etiam pulvinar consectetur dolor sed malesuada. Ut convallis euismod dolor nec pretium. Nunc ut tristique massa.

Nam sodales mi vitae dolor ullamcorper et vulputate enim accumsan. Morbi orci magna, tincidunt vitae molestie nec, molestie at mi. Nulla nulla lorem, suscipit in posuere in, interdum non magna.

Portrait Studio Lighting

Today we will be reviewing three different portrait studio lighting techniques using a typical studio lighting kit. We’ve talked about the very basic photography lighting techniques and how to make the light work for us.

One of the most popular portrait studio lighting style is Rembrandt Lighting. This technique forms the basis of all portrait studio lighting… The way we identify Rembrandt lighting is by a triangular light on the cheekbone. To achieve this we need one light stand, strobe, reflector and umbrella. We put the light on a so-called 45/45 degree angle.  We first point the light to 45 degree to the subject from the top and then move it to 45 degree from the center. Here is what we should approximately get:

Portrait Studio Lighting
As you can see without much effort we get pretty good results here. Note the triangular light on the left cheekbone.

Now, lets add a just a little bit of a fill. Just place a white fill card on the right side to reflect some of the light. This soften the shadows and simply make the face more alive.

Portrait Studio Lighting - Rembrandt Lighting With Fill

Note that we are using just one light and still we get very good results…

Another portrait studio lighting is Butterfly Lighting. We still use only one light but its more glamorous, it creates beautiful catch light in the eyes. It is call “Butterfly” because it creates a butterfly shadow below the subject’s nose.

To achieve it we place the light in front of the subject pointing down.

Portrait Studio Lighting - Butterfly

The third portrait studio lighting we are reviewing today is called Hatchet Lighting. Again, this is a very simple setup – we drop the light down lower at around the height of the model face and we pull it so its pretty much even off to the side. The results we get is that one side of the face is lit, and the other is complete shadow…

Portrait Studio Lighting - Hatchet

We can use again fill card to control the depth of the shadow if we want…

Portrait Studio Lighting - Hatchet with Fill Light

In general we see that these three portrait studio lighting techniques use just one light. Though we can get great looking results.