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Lighting for Photographers: Portraiture

via LinkedIn Learning


Explore the techniques behind lighting for portraiture.

In this course, photographer and teacher Natalie Fobes introduces the techniques behind lighting for portraiture. Its begins with a look at the role of light in setting the mood of a portrait, and then looks at the essential gear photographers need for continuous-light portraiture. The techniques shown are also applicable to strobe lighting. Next, Natalie details a variety of common one-light and two-light lighting techniques, explaining exposure, metering considerations, and light modifiers along the way. The course concludes with several lighting tips, including minimizing physical challenges and do-it-yourself lighting gear instructions.


  • Welcome
1. Looking at the Light
  • Understanding lighting positions
  • Deconstruct photos to study lighting
2. Portrait Lighting Setups
  • Using butterfly lighting for portraits
  • Lighting a portrait with the Rembrandt pattern
  • Working with the split lighting pattern
  • Backlighting in portraits
  • Lighting a portrait with clamshell lighting
3. Advanced Portrait Lighting
  • Exploring a four-light portrait scenario
  • Portrait scenario: Athlete
  • Using wraparound lighting for a portrait
  • Lighting for different skin tones
4. Common Adjustments in Post
  • White balance for skin
  • Global lighting adjustments
  • Work with the details
  • Direct attention to the subject
  • Goodbye

Taught by

Natalie Fobes

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