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How to Take a Portrait Using Broad Lighting

When you shoot a portrait of someone using broad lighting, it widens the subject’s face by emphasizing the side of the face turned toward the camera (the broad side). Use this lighting technique for portrait subjects with narrow or thin faces:

1

Turn your subject’s face at an angle from the camera.

Don’t turn the subject too much, or you end up taking a profile shot.

2

Set up the main light so that it illuminates the broader side of the face.

Focusing the light on this side of the face makes the whole face look broader.

3

Use your reflector to bounce some light into the shadow areas of your subject’s face.

You want to lighten the darker shadows.

Be careful with this lighting technique because it can make a normal face seem very full, and your subjects may not appreciate having their faces widened — even if you think the look is flattering.

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