Studio lighting is what separates the professional portrait photographers from amateurs. That is not to say that you can not achieve a beautiful shot with natural light only – of course this is possible. But for a formal portrait, the flexibility to be able to control the lights are really going to produce some powerful image.
A basic studio lighting kit, flexible enough for a lot of different shots, consisting of two lamps, umbrellas and / or softboxes. If you are shooting people, it is preferable to use studio strobes, which act as a jumbo sized version of your normal on-camera flash.
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This setup can be used in many configurations – a common setup is to use one light on one side of a subject and the other light on the opposite side at half the power of the first light.
Another option is to use only one light on one side of the subject, and the second light to be either a light background. A background light is useful to make the subject stand out from the background, but it should be significantly lower power than the main light in most cases.
The lights are usually placed behind or on the boom, pointing to the back of your subject’s head. This creates the outskirts of light around the edges of the hair and clothing, which is a good effect in this type of glamor photography.