Basic Photography Lighting Patterns

Something you may have not noticed, but different lighting can give a head shot a different style and mood to an image. Some may be more flattering on others as well. It’s good for a photographer to not only identify the different patterns and styles of light, but also to create them. This way they can give their client a professional photo that gives them confidence and quality they want.

Here are a few patterns to start with.

First we have the Split. Super easy, it is just what it sounds like. Split of light and shadow on the face.

Basic Lighting Patterns Split

The Rembrandt is also very common. You’ll see this in a lot of Hollywood Films. You can easily spot a Rembrandt by the small triangle of light under one of the eyes.

Basic Lighting Patterns Rembrandt

Loop is where you have a loop of light that opens up the shadows.

Basic Lighting Patterns Loop

Lastly, You have a Butterfly. This is used to add drama, or sometimes glamor shots are done in this way. You can see a butterfly shape shadow under the nose.

Basic Lighting Patterns Butterfly

There are a lot more lighting patterns out there. These are just a few to start. Check out the blog for more portrait and lighting tips!