It’s easy to fall into the thought that 1 of something is “limiting” or “not enough” when that simply isn’t the case. You can achieve many different looks with only 1 light and possibly the addition of a reflector. Here are 5 setups to give you some ideas for your own shoots.
Sunlight is one major light source, but I won’t be talking about it today. Check out this post to learn more about the different ways to use natural light.
The most basic and probably instinctual way to light a subject. Place your light right in the center of your subject, typically above your camera. This produces an even light and diminishes all shadows on their face.
The most common way to light a subject (even in multiple lighting setups.) Place your light slightly above your subject to mimic our natural view.
This can provide very dramatic results. Because only one side of their face is being lit, there will be dark shadows on the other side. You may choose to keep those shadows if that’s the look you’re going for, or use a reflector to fill them in a bit.
Often used as a hair light, this position could be used with a reflector to bring back light to the front of their face.
The ultimate position for backlighting. If you want an awesome silhouette, expose for the light behind and bring your subject into complete darkness.
So as you see, there are many different looks you can achieve from a single light. Don’t let having “only” 1 light limit your creativity!
May the light be with you.