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Photo: Aldona Kmiec

How to Flatter Women Using one studio light

Great advantage of using just one light is that it does not have to be complicated.

What I have found over the course of the years is that the most successful portrait shoot should, in most cases involve a gentle yet quite specific direction from the photographer. This decision involves determining which style of lighting should we use on particular person’s face to create a flattering effect. Turning the head makes one side closer to the camera than the other. If the shadowed side is closest to the lens, it is called narrow or short lighting. If the shadowed side is furthest from the camera, it’s called broad lighting.

Below are two shots demonstrating a use of narrow and broad portrait lighting style:

Narrow (or) Short lighting

  • the shadowed side of the face is closest to the camera
  • great for making faces look longer and less round
  • intensifies wrinkles

Broad Lighting

  • the shadowed side of the face is further from the camera
  • makes a narrow face look chubbier
  • good for hiding facial defects in the shadow
  • reduces wrinkles

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