Many photographers looking to pursue more conceptual portraiture are intimidated by elaborate lighting configurations required to achieve intensely stylized effects. However, this excellent video tutorial makes the case that venturing beyond single-source illumination opens doors for bringing unique creative visions vibrantly to life.
Coming to you from Gavin Hoey of Adorama TV, this great video tutorial explores fashioning several distinct timeless looks mainly by manipulating background design, wardrobe, and posing. Building adaptable multi-light frameworks allows subtly accentuating and enhancing thematic qualities through precision brightness sculpting. By mastering technical abilities to control direction, shape, and quality of multiple light streams, you can create images that simply aren't possible with only natural light.
Hoey arranges three flashes, modified to embed his subject in dimension and atmosphere suited to the pre-planned moods. This initial design allows him to subtly adapt intensities or positions between looks without losing continuity. As you can see, Hoey chooses the lighting not based on a certain formulaic setup, but rather build it organically to complement the concept in mind. Certainly, multi-light setups are more daunting, but thinking of them in this way makes them less difficult to master and will help you build a more intuitive sense of lighting. Check out the video above for the full rundown from Hoey.
If you would like to continue learning about how to light a portrait, be sure to check out "Illuminating The Face: Lighting for Headshots and Portraits With Peter Hurley!"