Portrait Lighting for Photography and Video!

Portrait Lighting for Photography and Video!


We’re going to bring our talent in, Elanie.
She’s going to sit here, and we’re going to demonstrate the five different portrait positions
for lighting. Now first off, I would never have a woman sit straight to the camera, because
it’s just not flattering. You want to turn them slightly one way or the other. We’re
going to turn her slightly to her left. It gives her a nice line here, and then we’re
going to look in. That gives us kind of our starting point for our light.
I just moved a light just a little bit around to camera right here. As you’ll see, as the
light moves around to the right, the shadow from her nose closes a loop on the shadow
from her cheek. You want to get what’s called a Rembrandt, which is a small triangle on
the right side of her face. That’s a classic Rembrandt light. There’s no shadow fill, there’s
nothing to this light. This is a single light, just showing you a single light placement
for a Rembrandt light. I’m going to move us from a Rembrandt light,
we can still even see the small triangle on her right cheek, and I’m going to move this
around to a strong split light. You go way back behind so that the light really is splitting
her face. We get a strong highlight side into a strong shadow side, that in doing so, we
really get a split light that runs right down the core or the nose line bridge of the face.
This really is more of a dramatic, interesting lighting in that you really get that highlight
and shadow, depending on how much. We haven’t really filled our shadow side right now. The
more you fill the shadow side, the more comfortable you are with this light. The less you fill
it, the more it’s going to feel dramatic or feel a little more like you wanted to make
a statement. So there’s a split light, a strong split light.
We have a light right now in pretty much the split light position. We’re going to go up
to what’ called a broad light. In order to do that, I’m going to move this light back
around to basically our Rembrandt position, but now I’m going to need Elanie to turn.
She’s going to face away from the light. She faces away from the light, we now are back
into the Rembrandt, but the Rembrandt is away from us. It’s not on the camera side, but
on the far side from the camera. We now are looking into the broad side of her face, or
the lit side of her face. That’s considered a broad light for the very reason, by the
name. It’s called broad, that we’re looking at the broad, lit side of the face rather
than the shadow side of the face. You’ll notice a preference. Some people love this light,
some people use it. I don’t find this the most flattering, although as you use people,
they’re going to move in and out of all of these different types of light. If your light
is in the right position, it will flow from a Rembrandt to a broad to a split very comfortably.
If the light is not in the right position, you don’t get that fluid motion between those
three light setups. So there’s our broad light that we can see on her face.
We’ve now moved our soft box more forward. We’ve put it on a small boom in order that
we can get the soft box up high and on an angle, a steep angle to our subject. The reason
is, this is called a butterfly or paramount light. We want to have the light directly
above the camera. In doing so, we get a nice shadow just underneath her nose. It’s called
a butterfly light or a paramount light. It really gives us a nice shadow on the cheeks,
on right and left, it gives us a nice chin shadow underneath. This is very much a beauty
light for women. Now if we just take a fill card and put it underneath, now it’s just
a little bit of light up into her face, it’s really going to open this up and make this
very pretty light. We’re going to turn the white side up. If we just put this onto her
lap, then looking right in there, we’ll be able to see that that’s filled all of our
shadow. As her chin goes down, you’ll see that shadow build. You don’t want it really
to touch her lip. You want it just to be off of her lips so that you have a little bit
of separation there. This kind of helps fill up that chin area for underneath and fills
up the shadow area under her nose. It’s a very pretty light. Also you’ll get a nice
light, and I’ll talk about that for a second here, to take this out. If you look in her
eyes, and as we’re in close, you’ll see a little square in the eyes from the soft box.
If you don’t get some kind of a highlight in their eye, people don’t look alive. So
you really want to see a really nice kind of small square of some sort in the eye, and
this gives us just right overhead, you see that square. So if you’re looking at a picture,
and you’re wondering how is this lit, look at their eyes. You’ll see a round object in
there for an umbrella, you’ll see a square for a soft box, you can see sometimes a soft
box and the fill light if you look. Now of course, when you get a retoucher like my wife
does, they’ll clean all of that stuff up and make it what they want.
You can see now that we’ve moved our light around. We don’t have that same steep angle
right directly between the camera and above our face. We’ve moved the light just slightly
to camera right. In doing so, we now have created on her face a small loop of light,
a loop shadow that starts to build on her right cheek. It’s no longer centered and giving
us the same shadow on both cheeks. We’re now moving to the right side, moving to that right
side, and we’re going to highlight one side and shadow the other just slightly. It’s really
just a variation of the butterfly. You can accomplish this on the ground. You don’t have
to have this boom light to do it, but it’s just you want the light a little higher than
when you do a Rembrandt light. You want the light a little higher, it’s more in the same
position as a butterfly light as far as height goes. A lot of these decisions on what you
do with this light depends on the individual. She’s gorgeous, it’s easy to light her face.
If you have people who have older faces, if you have people who have different features
that create shadows and issues, different lights are going to be better for different
individuals. It really will make a difference on who it is you’re photographing. So there’s
a quick look at a loop light. I’m going just going to talk for one minute
about what each of these lights are doing right now on camera. We have a key light.
Between the key light and our subject, we’ve put a P22 which is meant to be a softener
for that light. It’s a little harsh, and we want to just soften the light out a little
bit, which causes the highlights to kind of wrap around to the shadow area. It makes it
much prettier. We’ve added a fill light here in order to fill in the shadow side. We have
rim light from behind that rims her hair and gives her separation from the background.
We then have a background light that is on the background that gives us a highlight from
the left side to a darker shadow on the right side that allows us to separate her from the
background. Where she is highlighted, it is darker. Where she is darker, it’s lighter.
That gives us separation for our subject from the background. So just from overhead, we
can see exactly where each of these are. We can see where each of the lights are placed,
our high light, our key light, our rim light, our background light, and our fill light.
So it gives us a good sense of where this light is. It’s pretty compact, but each of
the lights here are accomplishing their goal in order to make her look good.
We got some great shots of Elanie. I’m going to help Adam take the set down now, and then
we’re going to some of the bicycle shots we did for Electra Bicycles.


100 thoughts on “Portrait Lighting for Photography and Video!

  1. Turns out… I am not the only one… I was like what happened at the end? Did she all of a sudden turn into a stunt woman! lol…. In either case…. Coool video….

  2. That ending segment was awesome. I really needed a laugh after today. Thanks for a great video and ending too!

  3. THIS is one of my FAVORITES of ALL your videos! hahaha such a fun and educational channel! ***

  4. First time I am watching this. After all the great info and the overhead shots that were a big plus, all I can think of is how the heck J.P. kept a straight face at the end. Like everyone else said "EPIC!" There has to be a "blooper reel" somewhere.

  5. Perfect tutorial, got some really great ideas for my upcoming shot.
    And ouch! hope model wasn't too hurt…lol
    A must see, will share it.
    Thank you.

  6. Very detailed. Very clear. Very vivid. And very dramatic ending. Everything is top notch. Thank you. Thanks to the beautiful model as well.

  7. Superb informational film presentation especially for an old outdoor landscape photographer who wants to move inside . Everything is the same when it comes to lighting principles , but when creating light artificially it is all about setting angles , not looking for them .
    Excellent presentation , thank you , and a very funny ending !
    NJ , USA

  8. Your videos are great, especially when you slow your presentation down a bit. I have learned a lot from watching these……….as others have said the ending was priceless! Thanks for all you do!

  9. …Hi there thanks for a great video …say a client requires a hotel for location …who pays for the hotel …the photographer or the client?

  10. Dear Jay P,

    What would you call the lighting in the end? (at 7:22) ?
    It looks like a very soft split light, but the lamp is facing more from a 45 degree angle and we can there is more shadow on the left than on the right side, so would it be considered more of a loop light?

    I have a little trouble analysing, especially if a reflector is used as a fill light.

    Best,

    Matze

  11. Just love your lessons on light, found this channel recently, after askim myself a question: "Why the f.. didn't I search YT earlier?" After few years of shooting outdoors I came to the point where I wanted to start working with people and in overall I need to study an artificial light and what results I can get and your channel have small chunks of the informational essence, that I can check myself. And the ending was absolutely hilarious. No way I am going to forget this video anytime soon 😀 gotta watch other stuff, this one set the bar high 😀 cheers

  12. And the Oscar goes to….! 😀 Great video! May I enquire how high you've been hanging the softbox for the Butterfly Lighting? Thanks!

  13. OMG! Was that scripted or was that for real… You never know with this guy! Whaaat? Where was I in 2011? I'm too shook right now 😂 😂 😂

  14. The bicycle photos never came. If you noticed there were a guy on a bike passing in the background at one point. That was just a clever way to have a reason to distract us later, so the final grand ending had enough time to escalate. Brilliant!

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