Bold Single Soft Light for a Three Quarter-Length Portrait

Simple setup, sensational results.

In this portrait photography class, Karl creates a bold but soft light for this 3/4 length shot, ideal for fashion and catalogue shoots. Using basic modifiers, he demonstrates how you can control your light for maximum effect and how simple adjustments can make a big difference.

He tests a simple but effective studio lighting setup, showing the results of each how and it’s possible to achieve complete control of shadows with just simple techniques.

In this class:

  • Creative portraiture photography using one studio light
  • Lighting setups for portrait photography
  • Lighting modifiers for 3/4 length portraits
  • How to eliminate shadows on a background

If you enjoy this class, be sure to watch Portrait Beauty Lighting With One Light.

Questions? Please post them in the comments section below.


  1. Love your courses on Fashion, portrait, product photography, and others. Love to see some macro photography on some products with the Canon Camera also. Many thanks for offering your expertise online to teach such great courses.

  2. Gary Stasiuk

    Debra is such a fantastic model.. such a pleasure to see how easily she poses and helps you. I know these videos are about the lighting.. and so your directions and banter back and forth with the model are targeted at illustrating lighting.. shift the chin up to get the catch light in the eyes.. but it made me wonder if you shall, later on, discuss the craft of direction and banter with the model (and non models) to aid in achieving some dynamic poses. I tend to help direct people somewhat, but it has been years since I did some fashion work. You have a mass of videos here to view before going into the fashion tutorials. The pandemic has made portraiture a little restrained and I am eagerly awaiting some return to normalcy to start working on my portraits.

    1. Hi Gary, I find the interaction with models often depends on the model. Sometimes it can be very difficult with less experienced subjects to give them direction and understand what you mean. This has always been a bit of ‘people skills’ required. I find the best is simply to make them feel comfortable and have a bit of fun. I think we have a few other classes covering this.

  3. Hi, would the color of white background wall darken as the light isn’t directly facing it and it’s at some distance away?

    1. Hi Vipul, the results you can see are as it was. The exposure on the wall is good because she’s stood right against it meaning if the model is the correct exposure then the wall will be close to correct too. Obviously if we moved our model away from the wall and kept the exposure correct on her then the wall will become darker.

    1. Hi, yes absolutely. You can also consider adding a small fill light at knee level that is lower in exposure than the light hitting the top of the body just to add a bit of life to the clothes.

Leave a Comment