Use Lighting Patterns for Professional Headshots

Butterfly Lighting:

Model: Kylee Egbert

I wanted to use this butterfly lighting to really capture the eye color with the details in the ring. I decided to use a red scarf so that the vibrant colors would make this shot more glamorous coupled with this kind of lighting. In order to the get the white background, I had a colleague hold up the white side of a reflector.

Rembrandt Lighting:

Model: Lindsey Essig

This lighting pattern gives a more professional headshot. I had my model turn her away from the light to bring in shadow in the bottom half so that it would contrast with the light shining on her face. The white wall in the background provided a great backdrop for a studio-quality image.


Model: Chelsie Relph

Here is another example of a Rembrandt lighting pattern. Though it is less of a professional headshot, it still has dramatic contrast. The shadows on the right side of her face keep the viewer’s attention on the triangle that the Rembrandt lighting pattern is famous for. I had the model place her hands on the side of her face to add some framing to the image.


Loop Lighting:

Model: Jessie Chatterton

In this example of loop lighting, I had the model stand left of the light and this time turn her body toward the light. I used her black hair as a barrier between her face and the light to add some contrast against the light background. We took this picture in a living room, which is why you can see the corner of the doorframe on the left side of the image.

In looking at inspiration for studio lighting and professional headshots, I found Laura Brett Photography. Here is a link to her website: She uses several of these lighting patterns in different kinds of sessions.





%d bloggers like this: