This week, I decided to play around with different three point lighting techniques for portraits. My goal was to get some drama in my headshots. So this was my light set up: two strip light behind the subject on two sides and one key light straight in front of the subject. My key light is a bit higher to get butterfly lighting (Check out DigitalPhotography Butterfly Lighting Guide) and my two strip light at the same height as my subject. My roommate in Rexburg, James Cassell, volunteered to be my model for this mini-project.

At first, I have my key light at 1/16 of the power and my strip light at 1/32 of a power; camera settings is at 200 ISO. The result of this is this headshot of James. I turned to portrait black and white in post to get a more dramatic and classy effect!

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James Cassell, freshman at Brigham Young University – Idaho (Rexburg, ID)

I really like this edgy look of the image with the two kicker light behind James. However, the drama is not enough for me. This was when I decided to dumb down my key light to 1/64 of the power and the result is mind-blowing!

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SECRET TO DRAMA: For a really dramatic look, dumb down the key light!! Shout out to my roommate, James Cassell, who volunteered to be my model!

I love how much drama is going on in this headshot. James is now transform from a cool good looking dude into a real intense and awesome looking guy!!

…And ladies! He’s available!

This blog post is inspired by one of my photography idols, Joel Grimes! Check out Joel Grimes’ dramatic lighting guide to learn more!