December 4, 2022


Capturing Magic Moments

How to choose the right fill light for portrait photography

1 min read

While we spend a lot of time talking about the choice of key light and its use in a portrait, it’s often not the only light source present in a shot. The fill light makes a huge difference in the final look of your image and deserves as much attention as the key. This great video tutorial shows you the pros and cons of different fill lights and how they affect the final look of your portrait photos.

This helpful video tutorial by John Gress shows you a variety of different fill lights for portrait photography and the different effects they have on your final image. In portrait photography, the main light is almost always from above, and this can create overly dark and harsh shadows on certain parts of the subject’s face. A fill light complements the key light by reducing some of those harsh contrasts, returning some light to the shadow areas and softening them for a more flattering overall effect. However, just like with your key light, the choice of fill light modifier will affect the look it creates. Check out the video above for the full look at Gress.

If you want to learn more about lighting a portrait, be sure to read Lighting the Face: Lighting for Headshots and Portraits with Peter Hurley!

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