Corrective Lighting Techniques for Portraits

Member Articles

Corrective Lighting Techniques for Portraits.  A portrait photographer’s primary objective is to idealize his subject. The subject’s appearance can be made more flattering through posing, lighting, and camera angle. In many instances, more than one of the following suggestions will be employed. Evaluate each subject individually.

Prominent Forehead Tilt chin upward, Lower Camera Position, Use Gobo (Head Screen), Use Barn Doors
Long Nose Tilt Chin Upward, Face Directly Toward Lens, Lower Main Light, Lower Camera Position
Angular Nose Turn Face Towards Camera, Place Main Light To Produce A Straight Line
Narrow Chin Tilt Chin Upward, Lower Camera Position, Use 3/4 Head Position
Double Chin Tilt Chin Upward, Body Straight And Leaning Forward, Use High Camera Position
Baldness Use Gobo To Shield Top Of Head, Use No Hair Light, Blend Top Of Head With Background
Broad, Round Face Use Short Lighting (move key light so it strikes the subject at greater than 50o), Turn Face Away From the Main Light To 3/4 Position
Narrow Face Use Broad Lighting, Use Umbrella, Turn Face Towards Camera
Wrinkled Face Use Soft Lighting, Use Feathered Light, A Relaxed Non-Smiling Pose, Use High Camera Position
Facial Blemishes, Scars, Etc. Use Diffused Lighting, Place Blemishes, Scars, Etc. On The Shadow Side Of The Face If Possible
Ears Show Only One Ear
Prominent Ears Hide Far Ear Behind Head, Keep Near Ear In Shadow
Glasses Tilt Lenses Downward By Raising The Glasses Stems, Have Subject Raise Or Lower Chin
Deep-Set Eyes Lower Main Light, Use Lower Lighting Ratio
Pop Eyes Lower Camera Angle, Talk To Subject From Camera Position
Droopy Eyelid Have Subject Look Up, Put Catch Light In Eyes


by Bonnie J Matthews-Franke

Bonnie has been taking pictures since she was a little girl, but she didn't get into digital photography until about four years ago, just before she joined the club.

Matthews finds the club to be very beneficial to her. The interaction with other members, being able to ask questions, the workshops and the knowledge that I take away from the club is phenomenal.

She is very active, attending most of the workshops and field trips. She has missed only a few workshops the last few years and has attended about 70% of the field trips. The fall color trip is one she�s really looking forward to.

When asked what kind of photography she prefers, she said landscapes. She just finished a vacation trip to Oregon where she photographed lighthouses, old barns and covered bridges. I really like old structures, she said. She now loves portraits and has her own studio.

Matthews has a Canon 5D MKII and a variety of lenses and accessories. Her favorite lens is a 28-135mm ,70-200mm. & 100mm.

Matthews is our new secretary of the club and has made many changes to help us grow. One improvement she hopes to make, however, is to archive the meeting notes she takes so new members can have access to them online.

I'm really proud that the club is growing like it is, and that the workshops are so great.

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