How to Create Rembrandt Portrait Lighting in Under Two Minutes
Posted on January 18 2019
If you're an aspiring portrait photographer, one of the classic lighting looks you need to master is Rembrandt lighting, which is one of the six classic portrait lighting setups.
This type of lighting is named for the famed painter Rembrandt van Rijn, who mastered the use of chiaroscuro, or the use of light and dark.
He perfected this technique and used contrast between light and dark areas in his paintings to create a beautifully dramatic, 3D look that is characterized by a triangular-shaped area of light on the model's cheekbone.
But he utilized this technique for painting...how does it apply to photography, you ask?
In the video above, our friend Kat Armendariz of hushXpose in Las Vegas offers a quick two-minute photography tip on how to set up Rembrandt lighting for more dramatic portraits.
Much like Rembrandt used this technique to add drama to his paintings, you can use this technique to bring more drama to your portraits.
What's more, if done right, Rembrandt lighting will give your portraits a ton of dimension as well.
As Kat mentions in the video, lighting is key for creating the classic triangle of light you see on the model's right cheek.
In this case, she set up a beauty dish about three feet to the left of the model and a white reflector on the opposite side to help bounce soft light back onto the model. Note that the beauty dish is about 10 inches above the model's eye level while the reflector is roughly at eye level.
To create an intimate portrait, Kat brought in her daughter and photographer Jocelyn Sage to model for the shoot. Kat took the photo from Jocelyn's eye level, so her eyes become a greater focal point in the shot.
Additionally, as Kat mentions in the video, using a clean, simple background will assist you in creating a classic portrait look.
In this case she used a Click Props Backdrops Panel Plaster Gray backdrop for a beautiful vintage look.
While this Rembrandt lighting technique helps you create wonderfully dynamic images that look complex, as we've learned here, you can accomplish this look in under two minutes!
That makes this a quick and easy way to take the quality of your portraits up a notch - or two or three!
Kat Armendariz is a published studio photographer in Las Vegas. She has a passion to create out-of-the-box portraiture and to give women an experience that will be a stepping stone to new found confidence.
Her photo studio sits in the heart of Las Vegas where she gets to work with incredible clients from all over the globe. Her studio, hushXpose, is a compilation of her two studio names: Hush Hush Shoot (boudoir photography), and Pose Las Vegas (glamour photography).
hushXpose offers an all-inclusive Hollywood experience where Kat and her all-female teamwork with clients one-on-one to create custom sets and scenes tailored to their clients.
Kat and her husband, Ephraim Armendariz, also own the US District for Click Props Backdrops, which specializes in professional-grade heavy-duty vinyl studio backdrops. Click Props Backdrops let you choose from an extensive and exclusive range of multi-award-winning backgrounds and floorgrounds to give you the opportunity of offering clients a multi-set portrait experience.