A great portrait photographer knows how to light their subjects for the most flattering portraits. There are plenty of ways you can photograph a face and their many different shapes. As anyone knows, you can light your subject any way you wish, however there are 5 basic portrait lighting setups that you can refer to. You can achieve these lighting set ups by using just one light source. These are predominately applied in studio nevertheless you can spot these patterns outdoors at times when the sun is positioned in a certain way.
In this video you will learn that you do not need intricate lighting set ups and a lot of expensive equipment to achieve beautiful portraiture. You can start with the 5 basic portrait lighting setups and all you need is a strobe; one light that you can move around to bring about the different lighting techniques. There are 5 of them; Rembrandt, Split Light, Broad Light, Paramount Light, Loop Light and Hard Light. Rembrandt lighting is usually characterized by the triangle of light underneath the eye on either side. Split lighting is identified by the nature of it's name; it illuminates half of the face leaving the other half in shadow. Paramount lighting is considered to be the most flattering lighting setup, especially for when lighting women's faces. The lighting is positioned directly above your subject. Paramount lighting is usually defined by the butterfly directly under the nose. Broad lighting is simply lighting the side of the face that is opposing the light. Lastly, there is Loop lighting which is recognized by the shadow under the nose that loops to the side. Loop lighting is sort of like Rembrandt, but the triangle stretches downwards towards the chin.