ACP Unit 2 Project:

Studio Portrait Lighting Styles

Project Description


For this project, you and a partner will be using the studio and the provided lighting equipment to create a portrait in the styles shown below, as well as create a lighting diagram poster for the studio.

Here are the portrait lighting styles:

  • Split Lighting – Splits the face exactly into halves with one side being in the light and the other in shadow.
  • Rembrandt Lighting – A triangle of light is created on the cheek, with the shadow of the nose meeting the shadow on the cheek.
  • Butterfly Lighting – High centered lighting, creating a butterfly shadow directly under the nose. Fill from below.
  • Loop Lighting – Small shadow of the nose on the cheek.
  • Broad Lighting – Face is turned slightly, with the broad side of the face well lit.
  • Short Lighting – Opposite of broad, Face is turned away from light, creating more shadow on the broad side and light on the short side.


You will need to research the lighting styles. Find examples and demonstrations/videos, and you may even find a lighting diagram.
Use your research to create your portraits. Keep your research in your class binder, including all materials you used to learn more about these styles.

The Lighting Diagram

Based on your research, sketch out a lighting diagram for each of the six styles, creating your own setup based on the studio equipment we have to demonstrate each style.

The Shoot

Using your diagrams, use the Nikon D610 or D3200 camera and long lens (with your own SD card) in the Studio, each of you shoot (in RAW) a single subject (your partner) demonstrating the six lighting styles. Choose your best example for each style and create a 11×14 print-ready file. You will turn in 6 images, each demonstrating one style.

Finalize Poster

Create six 11×14 posters in InDesign, one for each style showing the studio setup you used (a diagram), the example photo and the Lighting style as a Title. The diagram should include the lighting, camera placement, any modifiers or diffusers, and all labels (such as key, fill, kicker, backdrop, etc). Save your InDesign document in your Network folder and name it appropriately (###-Name-Assignment).

Export your document (FILE: Export) and save it as a PDF (Print) into the Trapane Hand-in Folder. PDF instructions HERE. Turn in your sketch diagrams to the hand-in basket.

Digital Photography School


In classical portraiture there are several things you need to control and think about to make a flattering portrait of your subjects, including: lighting ratio, lighting pattern, facial view, and angle of view.
Read more…

Project Details

  • Client DUE SEPT 26
  • Date September 19, 2014
  • Tags ACP Projects, ACP Unit 2

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