How to Create Window Lighting Without a Window

Sometimes you just want a window, but all you’ve got is a hallway. Using a simple lighting rig and some drapes, however, you can make it seem like your model is staring wistfully out a windowpane:

As video host Scott Kelby shows, the real trick is to lower the exposure enough to make the entire room black—avoiding mirrors and other light sources—and focusing on balancing the light emitting from between the drapes.

professional wedding photos

The rig is simple—an Elinchrom ELB 400 bouncing softly on the model’s face.

reflector lighting trick

The results will depend on the angle she’s facing and where the camera sits, but the effect is that of someone looking out a window. Adjust the camera slightly and you don’t even need to see beyond the drapes—just a profile-view of her face.

bride photography

Obviously this isn’t just a wedding photography trick; it’s handy any time you need a different angle and are limited by your location.

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