If you're looking to take your photography further you'll probably want to learn how to use off-camera flash. In this tutorial we show you 6 simple studio light setups that will help you capture some of the classic portrait lighting effects.
What's more, these lighting techniques will provide you with a solid foundation from which you can start experimenting to find your own style.
In our lighting setups cheat sheet below you'll learn how to use high contrast light at a 90-degree angle; diffused light and a reflector; high contrast light at 45 degrees; high contrast light at 45 degrees with a reflector; low contrast light at 45 degrees with a reflector; and finally rim lighting from behind.
Lighting Setup 1: High contrast light at a 90-degree angle(opens in new tab)
A striking result achieved with minimal kit. Using a single flash head at this angle can give an unflattering result, though.
The light will show up bumpy skin textures and create stark shadows and bright highlights.
Without a diffuser, the quality of light will be high contrast and if placed near the subject will create problems with fall-off where light is spread unevenly across the face.
By not using a reflector, shadows will be deep.