See How Light Angle & Shadows Affect the Faces of Your Portrait Subjects

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The very premise of photography is rooted in light and, as photographers, it should be our goal to learn how to master it. Even the slightest change in the angle of light and a photograph can be changed drastically. This is especially true of portrait photography. Getting the light right when photographing a face can mean the difference between complimenting and even enhancing it’s features or making it appear unflattering by exaggerating any problems. Take a look at the video below which gives a moving account of how light angle effects a face:

The video above, titled Sparkles and Wine, was inspired by french filmmaker Henri-Georges Clouzot’s L’Enfer (Inferno) The director of Sparkles and Wine, Nacho Guzman, goes as far as calling his work a homage to Clouzot (Via Petapixel). Neither L’Enfer or the clip above were necessarily made with the idea of helping photographers understand light, but it does happen to offer it as an added perk.

portrait photography tips

Watch the catchlights in the talent’s eyes when watching to give you a better idea of where the light is positioned.

If you’d like to learn more about the technique, you can try following the tips explained by Joe Edelman in this video, where he uses a flashlight and egg to conduct a similar case study.

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