The Most Effective Lighting Tips From a Portrait Professional


Maja Topčagić is a young photographer from Bosnia-Herzegovina.

In this article on Popular Photography she is explaining her process of using light to create a very intense look in the subjects eyes. The instructions are easy and the final results are amazing. With her tips you will be able to truly take your portrait photography to the next level.

Her go-to lighting for these alluring portraits is the ambient light of an overcast day, early or late when the low-lying sun throws an overall warm cast. For this shot, the light’s yellow/orange hue brought out the warm tones of her model’s hair and freckles, and, because it was diffuse, the lighting didn’t throw shadows across her face. In some ways, it’s perfect portrait light.

But it has a downside. Flat portrait lighting tends deemphasize a person’s eyes. Since one of Topčagić’s main intents was high-lighting the intriguing contrast between cool blue eyes and warm hair, flat light was a problem.

To solve it here, she turned to a circular silver lamé reflector. An assistant aimed it toward her model’s face, where it gave a specular, sparkling quality to the light that helped to accent the blue in what otherwise read as gray eyes. “Even though the model had really big, vibrant blue eyes, the reflector was needed to highlight them in just the right way,” Topčagić says.

Want to make a similar portrait yourself? “Choose wisely the part of the day that you photograph,” says Topčagić.

Read the full article over at Popular Photography.

Source: Popular Photography

Leave a Reply