Lighting holds the keys to the overall feel of an image for the most part, particularly with portraiture. In this video, you will see behind-the-scenes of a dramatic, moody portrait shoot with some tips on how to replicate the style yourself.
In the very early days of my interest in photography, I became obsessed with portraiture. Long-term readers of my original articles might remember that I even featured a portrait of the day, every day, for nearly 1,000 days on Pinterest. That board was pulling in over 100,000 views per month at its peak and I believe some of that was due to my tastes in portraiture being similar to many people's. I was always drawn to the dark and the moody, with portraits that had me imagining the backstory and asking questions. It's a tricky type of image to create and light plays an integral part.
In this video, one of my favorite portrait photographers — and frankly, humans — Emily Teague, teams up with Adorama to take you behind-the-scenes on a brilliantly styled shoot with dramatic lighting. One of the most important tools in this sort of style is somewhat lowkey in itself and easily overlooked by beginners: the v-flat. In my commercial product photography, I quickly became aware of how crucial and black v-flat was in controlling light. Putting the black v-flat on the opposite side to your key light can enhance the shadows and stop the light spilling and reflecting in a way that doesn't work to your advantage.