The One-Light Portrait Lighting Setup You Need to Know

The One-Light Portrait Lighting Setup You Need to Know

Portrait photography is all about light, and the right lighting can make a big difference in the quality of your images. But you don't need a lot of expensive gear to create beautiful portraits. In fact, you can create stunning portraits with just one light.

What is a one-light portrait lighting setup?

A one-light portrait lighting setup is simply a lighting setup that uses only one light source. This can be a speedlight, a strobe light, or even a natural light source like a window.

Benefits of using a one-light portrait lighting setup

There are several benefits to using a one-light portrait lighting setup:

  • It's simple and easy to set up.
  • It's portable and affordable.
  • It can be used to create a variety of different lighting effects.
  • It's a great way to learn the basics of portrait lighting.

Basic one-light portrait lighting setup

The most basic one-light portrait lighting setup is to place the light source to the side of the subject and slightly behind them. This will create a triangular pattern of light on the subject's face, which is known as Rembrandt lighting. Rembrandt lighting is a classic portrait lighting style that is flattering to most subjects.

How to adjust your one-light portrait lighting setup

Once you have your basic one-light portrait lighting setup in place, you can adjust the position of the light and the power output to create different effects. For example, you can move the light closer to or further away from the subject to create a softer or harder light. You can also adjust the power output of the light to create a brighter or darker image.

Here are some tips for using a one-light portrait lighting setup:

  • Use a reflector to fill in shadows and create a more even light.
  • Diffuse the light to soften it and create a more flattering effect.
  • Experiment with different light positions and angles to create different effects.
  • Don't be afraid to experiment and have fun!

Examples of one-light portrait lighting setups

Here are a few examples of one-light portrait lighting setups that you can try:

  • Rembrandt lighting: Place the light source to the side of the subject and slightly behind them.
  • Butterfly lighting: Place the light source directly in front of the subject at a high angle. This will create a triangular pattern of light under the subject's nose, which is known as a butterfly shadow.
  • Split lighting: Place the light source to the side of the subject and slightly in front of them. This will create a strong shadow on one side of the subject's face.
  • Loop lighting: Place the light source above and behind the subject. This will create a soft shadow around the subject's head and shoulders.

A one-light portrait lighting setup is a great way to create beautiful portraits with minimal gear. It's simple and easy to set up, and it can be used to create a variety of different lighting effects. Experiment with different light positions and angles to create different looks, and don't be afraid to have fun!