Broad Lighting

Broad Lighting

In previous posts here at Weddit, we’ve discussed the importance of lighting throughout wedding photography and in a more recent post, we delved into the different types of lighting and the effects which they have on an image. For today’s blog post, we’re going to be talking about one type of lighting in particular, known as ‘broad lighting’. Now broad lighting isn’t exactly the same as the other types of lighting that we have discussed before (such as split lighting, loop lighting, Rembrandt lighting and butterfly lighting). In fact, broad lighting is more of a style of photography lighting and can be used with the lighting patterns mentioned above! So, let’s look at broad lighting in more detail...

What Is Broad Lighting? - So, as we mentioned, broad lighting is not so much a lighting pattern, but is actually more of a lighting style to be specific. You must be wondering what broad lighting is by now, so we’ll tell you! Broad lighting is when a person’s face is turned slightly from centre and the side of the face which is closest to the camera is in the light. This makes that particular side of the face look broader, hense where broader lighting gets its name! This style of photography produces a larger area of light on the face and a shadow side which appears smaller. This style of lighting is often used when shooting people who have a very slim face, as it makes the face appear a tad wider and is most flattering on this facial shape. Most people however want to look slimmer, not wider so this type of lighting would not be appropriate for someone who is heavier or round faced.

It’s something to think about during wedding shoots if that’s what your client wants. Everyone will have different ideas about what they want for their wedding images, but sometimes a client/ couple may be up for a quirky photo shoot as well as some elegant and traditional wedding images to run alongside the playful ones.

How To Create Broad Lighting Images? - To create broad lighting images, the face of your client/ the person that you are photographing must be turned away from the lighting source. The side of the face that is closest to the camera will have the lightest exposure and the shadows will fall on the far side of the face which is furthest from the camera. Simply put, broad lighting illuminates the largest part of the face showing.

Overview - Broad lighting is the exact opposite of ‘Short light’ (which we will cover in a future blog post). In the broad lighting setup (a.k,a the side that is getting the most light) is the side that is turned towards the camera. This setup is less commonly used for portraits as it tends to make people look chubby and is used more for high-key photography which actually originally done partly for technological reasons. Since early film and television did not deal well with high contrast ratios, but now is used to suggest an upbeat mood throughout film scenes and of course high-key photography, but we’ll also talk more about this style of imagery in a separate post, for now, we hope that we’ve cleared up what broad lighting is and how you can achieve it!

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Photo + editing credit: All images in this blog post edited by the team here at Weddit and photographed by Lukas Griffin. To get started with our wedding photo editing service, you can create an account here. 

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