8 Lighting Methods in Portrait Photography

Portrait photography lighting methods

Bella C |

Portrait lighting can completely change the look of a subject, highlighting or downplaying certain features. Understanding how to manipulate portrait lighting with your SIRUI photography light can help you get the most out of your portrait photography sessions.

 

  1. Narrow Light

This lighting style uses light in front of the character, shooting upwards. The light is also inclined toward the background. This highlights the character, making them stand out more and appear three-dimensional while thinning them.

 

  1. Wide Light

This is another style that sets the light in front of the character, shooting upwards, although the light is inclined in the opposite direction of the background. This flattens the characters while highlighting the individual details.

 

  1. Backlighting

When backlit, the lighting is behind the character, and the subject hides the light source with their body. This highlights contours while creating atmosphere and enhancing textures. By using a bendable photography light such as the SIRUI Dragon Series Bendable RGB Panel Light B25R, you can also highlight the side of the character for more details.

 

  1. Edge Lighting

By placing the light on the oblique back of the character in their direction, you can create a highlight around the character that effectively separates them from the background.

 

  1. Butterfly Lighting or Beauty Lighting

This lighting is named because of the butterfly shape that forms under the nose. It's perfect for beauty photography as well because of the way it highlights the whole face while slimming the subject. To achieve this, use slightly larger lights above and slightly smaller light sources, such as the SIRUI  HYPERLINK "https://store.sirui.com/en-ca/products/ultra-slim-led-video-panel-light-e30"Ultra Slim LED Video Panel Light E30B, below the characters to highlight them. Most often used with women.

 

  1. Rembrandt Lighting

This kind of lighting uses a light on the side at about a 45-degree angle to the character, using an oblique angle to the face. This forms a triangle of light and shadow between the eyes, nose, and cheeks. Rembrandt's lighting creates a lot of energy and plays within the character, creating triangular shapes under the eyes. Most often used with men.

 

  1. Cross Lighting and Side Lighting

Using a light high above and at an oblique angle to the character you can create an effect that brightens and focuses on one side of the face. The other side of the face is dark. This creates a tense atmosphere adding drama to the picture. An excellent SIRUI photography light for this kind of lighting is the SIRUI A100B Bi-Color Automatic Inflatable Photography Light which allows you to spotlight your subject with bright light to increase the drama.

 

  1. Partial Lighting

This kind of light is strong directional lighting, such as the one you get from the SIRUI 100W continuous light, or lighting from a string that's interrupted or filtered through objects, such as foliage or household objects. This play of shadows can effectively highlight the details of the character.

 

Effective Portrait Lighting

These are only a few of the options you have for portrait lighting. Learning portrait lighting effects and the SIRUI photography lights that work well with them can help you dramatically highlight the details of your characters. For more tips and tricks on creating amazing portrait lighting, visit our website.

 

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