Introduction: Three Point Lighting

Setting up the right lighting for photography can be very crucial to the picture. One of the most well-known lighting set ups is the three point lighting set up. The setup has been successful for so many photographers. The size, distance, intensity, and position of the light source control how the light falls on the subject, where the shadows fall, and how hard or soft though shadows may be.

Step 1: Setting Up You Camera

Before starting with the lighting, make sure that a backdrop is set up. Also have a subject/model in position wanted for the picture.

First, set up the camera in the position wanted for the image. There are no rules the camera can be in any position desired by the photographer. Just play around with it tell the desired look has been found. Once camera and model is in desired position it is time to start setting up the lighting.

Step 2: Key Light

First light needed in place is the key light. Place your light on the side where desired for the most light to hit the model. Once figured out what side the key light is desired on. Set it up and put it out at a 45° angle from the camera. The key light should be put slightly above the model’s eye level angling down. The key light power should be set to 1/4 power.

Step 3: Fill Light

Now that the key light in place next comes the fill light. The fill light will be at a 45° angle to the opposite side of the camera that the key light was positioned. Place the fill light slightly lower than the key light, so about level with the subjects face. This helps fill in shadows under the eyes nose and chin. This light is going to be less intense on the subject the key light should be twice or four times as bright as the fill light the fill light will be at 1/8 power in this case because the key light is at 1/4 power.

Step 4: Back Light

Finally the back light needs be positioned. This light will have the same power as your fill light this light will be hooked onto the top of the backdrop or on a light stand behind the backdrop with the peeking out from above the backdrop, framing pointing at the back of your subjects head. The light should be angling right on the back of the models head and shoulders creating an outline around the model to create a separation between them and the backdrop. This creates depth in the photo.