Daily Archives November 4, 2020

Working Your Way Through a Cinematic Photoshoot

Cinematic lighting is something that’s the holy grail of photography. (Well, at least it is for me.) When I talk about a cinematic shot, I think about a shot that uses multiple lights to create drama and depth to an image or subject. I struggled in balancing all of the factors of photography when I first started shooting, so I’m hoping that walking you through this process will help your workflow when you get out there to shoot.

To make this happen, you have to conceptualize your light before you shoot. This means thinking about your scene and environment. You’ll need to determine:

  1. The number of subjects in your scene. If you have more than one subject, then you’ll want to examine each item as a basic shape. 
  2. Any reflective sources or surfaces that could be used. If you
  3. The number of lights you’ll need to get the effect that you want to achieve.

In conceptualizing the lights, we have to think about lighting in layers.

Remember that light is additive; meaning that if your lights overlap then you’ll get more power where they overlap. You’ll want to keep this in mind when choosing where your lights will be placed and how many you need. For this shoot, I wanted each light to have a purpose and not cross over with other lights.