6 Types of Lighting in Portrait Photography

lighting in portrait photography

Portrait photography is one of the most popular forms of photography, where the photo tries to capture the personality of a person or a group of people.  Today, portrait photography is used at weddings, schools, and for commercial purposes like ads, fashion, and website purposes.

In professional photography, the portrait photographer can get creative with different styles and types of portrait photography. The key factors in portrait photography include posing, backdrop, and lighting. For any impressive photography, the play of lights is crucial in using good photography techniques.

Let’s look at 6 types of lighting in capturing powerful portrait photography.

Types of Lighting used in Portrait Photography

  1. Falt Lighting
    Flat lighting is the light facing the subject of the photograph.  In portrait photography, flat lighting ensures that the face of the person is well lit. Flat lighting eliminates the shadows on the face and helps in covering the blemishes on the skin.
  2. Loop Lighting
    Loop lighting is a single source of light diffused from the side and placed above the eye level of the subject.  The light creates a looping down of a shadow around one side of the nose, chin and neck.  The loop lighting is important in portrait photography to draw out the bone structure of the subject.
  3. Rembrandt Lighting
    Rembrandt lighting is the portrait technique of lighting by which a small inverted triangle of light is visible under the subject’s eye.  The light should be placed at a 45-degree angle above the subject’s head with the reflector in the opposite side. This technique is used to create natural portrait photographs with an element of mystery to it.
  4. Short Lighting
    Short Lighting is a technique where the light falls from the side on the part of the face facing away from the camera. This kind of lighting makes the face appear narrower and can be very flattering on most types of faces. The lighting technique is useful for creating depth and contrast in photographs.
  5. Broad Lighting
    Broad Lighting is the opposite technique of short lighting where the light is focused on the side of the face facing the camera.  Broad lighting makes the face look broader and is advisable for slim faces.  Broad lighting is not very popular as most of the portrait photographs are generally trying to create slimmer faces.
  6. Butterfly Lighting
    Butterfly Lighting creates an interesting shadow under the nose and along the chin of the subject resembling a butterfly.  The light is placed above the subject’s face and right in the centre. The soft lighting technique is used to create glamorous portrait photos.

By incorporating these different lighting techniques, one can create interesting portrait photographs with a distinct personality.

Al Raza Photography is one of the leading portrait photographers in Qatar. We offer the following photography and videography services.

  1. Corporate Photography
  2. Wedding photography
  3. School Photography
  4. Virtual Video Services

If you are looking for a professional portrait photographer in Doha, do get in touch with Al Raza Photography.

2 Replies to “6 Types of Lighting in Portrait Photography

  1. Sweet blog! I found it while surfing around on Yahoo News. I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Appreciate it. Best lightning techniques for portrait photography

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