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8 Top Portrait Photography Tips That Use Just One Light

COOPH photographers share some essential tips on studio portrait photography which include how you can get creative with a single light source.

|  Portraits and People
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With just 1 studio light, the COOPH team demonstrate how you can create different/unique portraits by manipulating how the light falls to enhance portraits and, as a result, greatly improve your overall results. 

"The techniques used to manipulate the light are super fascinating," COOPH. 

Tip 'number 1' is all about using flat light where the light is placed/angled slightly above your subject and a reflector is used to brighten shadow areas. Shoot straight on for a striking, face focused portrait. 




Up next is the 'Rembrandt Light' style where you want to light your subject from a 45-degree angle down then position yourself either side-on or slightly angled (but still to the side) to capture the 'Rembrandt triangle' on the face. 

For something slightly less comfortable, add a bit of creepy light to your portraits by lighting your subject from below and really focus the light with a grid over your light source. 

Tip 4 looks at 'short vs broad light' where the COOPH team start by angling light behind their model and use a reflector to fill shadows. The side farthest from the camera is lit, slimming the face right down. Take the light to the opposite side and the face looks fuller. 




'Soft vs hard light' is the theme for tip 5 and this is all about the position of the light. Closer makes the light softer while moving the light source further away makes shadows sharper. 

Position the light above and a little in front, ensuring you light the eyes, and you can create a classic movie poster look while the second to last tip is all about backlighting your subject. 





Tip 8 shows the team using a snood to focus the light source on a wall as well as the model to give a noir, detective feel to their final portrait which can look great in black and white. 

More Portrait Tips

Looking for more top tips like these? Take a look at our technique section where you'll find top features such as '5 Top Tips On How To Use Window Light For Indoor Portraits', 'How To Pose Hands In Portraits' and '3 Top Tips On Using Fill-In Flash For Portraits.'

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pablophotographer 8 1.5k 368
26 Feb 2020 2:09AM
Awesome! Thanks guys!

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