Creative Portrait Lighting Techniques

Capture the spirit of classic Hollywood glamour. 

In this class, recorded LIVE, Karl shows you creative lighting styles and techniques that you can use to recreate glamorous, Hollywood-style black and white portrait photography.

Working through each step of the shoot, Karl explains his lighting setup, power ratios and lens choice for this image. Using a combination of seven lights, he also explains how to balance multiple lights and what alternatives you can use if you don’t have fresnels.

In this class:

  • Portrait photography ideas
  • Portrait photography black and white
  • Portrait photography lighting
  • Lighting modifiers for portrait photography — using fresnels for portraiture
  • Controlling depth and direction of shadows

You can also watch part 2 of this workshop, where Karl demonstrates two more creative lighting setups.

Questions? Please use the comment section below.



    If I have 4 BRONCOLOR lights and add 3 from another brand I guess I cannot use BRONCOLOR app or can I ?
    How do I make all lights firing at the same time in sync without using light triggers?

  2. Remig

    Hello Karl, thank you for this great lesson!
    About studio Harcourt, I once saw a documentary where their photographer explained that they use specialised cinema continuous lighting, because it gives a greater 3-dimensionality than flash lights… but light is light, isn’t it?
    Any comment on this?
    Thanks and all the best!

    1. Hi, yes they were using tungsten balanced cinema lighting but it was still full spectrum but warmer colour balance than studio light, I don’t think you’d see any great difference from the light itself, although the slightly warmer colour balance would record slightly differently on black and white than daylight balance but nothing that would make a significant difference, it was probably more to do with the range of fresnels and projection attachements that were available to them with their system.

  3. Great setup! Love the image and splashes of light. Would this work with snoots? Do you have any hack suggestions for people who have speed lights and don’t have as much studio kit? Thanks

      1. BastianLai

        Hi Karl,

        Love your education online, thank you.
        I wonder if it’s necessary to consider the model face shape choosing how the light it.
        If so, what are the rules?
        Thank you very much
        Have a wonderful day & stay happy.

        1. Hi BastianLai. Yes for wider people I do consider how I’m going make the face ‘thinner’ with either more side lighting, less fill on the shadow side or Parabolic front lighting that ‘thins’ the face by adding shadow to the edges of the face but this doesn’t work in all cases as there are so many variables. The best thing is to learn light (on this platform) and once you fully understand it you will know when and how to adapt it naturally.

  4. DougHowell

    Good show, Sophie is a kickbutt model, I tell ya! LOL, no I just noticed how steady she was. Excellent tutorial.

  5. John F

    Again, just joined the training today and will go back to look as some of the older Workshops, so plan in getting questions from past sessions.
    The Frunnels (sp) you mention in this workshop, are there any such adapters for Siros S moonlight heads? If not, I’d like to try to achieve the same effect using fine grids and snoots as you indicated. Regarding snoots, does Broncolor make snoots that can be attached to the moonlights?
    I haven’t been able to locate a list of modifiers for these units, thus all the questions about modifiers.



    1. Hi John, I don’t think there are any Fresnels that can go on a Siros except for the flooter which can take a Siros. Use the search function at the top of broncolor’s website to find the items. Their is also a ‘Conical Snoot’ which fit’s the Siros. And then yes there are the multiple grid sets designed for the Siros reflectors that you will find useful. Another trick is to hold a grid infront of the ‘Conical Snoot’. As a hack the very small grids that are designed for the Picolite Snoot can squeeze into the Conical Snoot.Cheers Karl.

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