How you can stand out more with your profile picture? Use Positive Headshot Lighting

Grumpy man in black and white

In previous articles, I’ve covered the basics, of light and position, looked at where to position the camera and what lens to use. In this article we look at Headshot Lighting.  It’s more about creating a look, to help you stand out in your image.

Positive Headshot Lighting

Now, we can simply light our subjects in a conventional way, a way that shows us off as we are, or as in the third article, giving a little more dimension to our features by creating shadow and a little back light.

There are a couple of styles that we can also try, – one with a simple single over head light that can be a flattering source, especially with a bit of bounce to reduce the shadows

clam shell lighting

Of course, for an altogether more sinister look, we can push the processing a bit…

Sinister edge through overprocessing

Which would you prefer as your profile picture (or perhaps ask yourself which one stands out more!)

We don’t have to be sinister to be dramatic though. With a simple two light set up, we can a add an interesting twist to a portrait. Using the two lights opposed and equidistant, we can light up the sides of the face and leave the centre in a subtle soft shadow.

Opposing Light with subject centred

But does it work better when your subject is centred or on the thirds?

Opposing Lights with subjects on a third

As I’m sure you can imagine, there are so many ways to position your lights to create all sorts of different effects. Even a small movement in position or intensity can make a big difference

– happy snapping!

For more information on how to handle Headshot Lighting or to book a session, contact the author,

In the next blog, I’ll be having a look at the subtlety of expression