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How to Take a Portrait Using Butterfly Lighting

A glamorous style of lighting is butterfly lighting. This type of lighting creates a subtle butterfly of light with the bridge of the nose as the axis for the “wings” of light that spread over the eyes and cheeks.

1

Have your subject face the camera.

He or she doesn’t have to look at the camera, but his or her head shouldn’t be angled away.

2

Position your main light straight onto your subject.

Place the light high above his or her eyes, with it pointed directly on the nose. This light positioning is what enables the light to spread out in the butterfly pattern.

3

Add a background light.

This light separates your subject from the backdrop.

This style of lighting doesn’t work well for people with short hair because it tends to throw too much light on the ears.

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