These days, a very big portion of our phone’s storage is occupied by our gallery, and it is not
uncommon to say that you have over ten thousand pics. And yes, ten thousand already is a
big number. How many of those pictures are selfies? Probably a lot, and there is nothing to be
Selfies are key ways of expression in our current society, and we all resort to them in
different situations, either to do something fun or just because we are feeling cute. The good
news is that, for the latter situation, we no longer need to spend thirty minutes posing and
contracting our facial muscles trying to get the perfect pic.
With the lighting techniques we are going to show you, you will be able to naturally enhance
your best features and without needing to spend a long time on camera, as these lighting ways
are actually used by professional photographers with this purpose. And if they don’t work for
you, well, you will always have Instagram filters. But these are all worth a try!
- Loop lighting
Loop lighting is probably the most used out of the four techniques that we are introducing in
this article, as it is always flattering for the subject.
It just consists of getting a light source and, from a slightly high angle, pointing it downwards
towards the side of your face. It may sound tricky, but it is actually very easy. You will only
need a light you can find in your home, a lamp or even a flashlight could work if you have
some basic editing skills, and put yourself underneath it so that the light falls in one of your
sides. Separate yourself enough from the source of light so that a small loop shadow can arise
below your nose and chain!
- Butterfly lighting
This kind of lighting is the easiest to set up: you will only need to place your light directly in
front of your face, possibly with one foot of distance between both. Yes, as simple as that.
This will help to enhance your cheekbones, and the result should show a shadow under your
nose and your lower lip. This outcome may sound similar to the one in loop lighting, but
remember that in that one the shadow will be under the chain, not the lip!
- Split lighting
This is also a pretty easy technique, although it may not be for everyone. It just consists of
placing the light either to the left or right of your face, so that half of your face is visible and
the other side covered by the shadows. Depending on how close or far from your face you
place your camera you will have more or less contrast between both sides of your face.
While the beauty of this technique precisely resides in this contrast, we wouldn’t recommend
having the light too close to your face as it will result in a probably too aggressive
light/shadow contrast that may not be flattering after all. But remember there are no rules,
just try and have fun!
- Rembrandt lighting
This last technique receives its name based on Rembrandt’s painting technique: he always
painted his characters as if the light they were receiving resulted in a small triangle of light
under their left eye. This setup is also quite simple, as we just need to place our light around
30/45 degrees from the center of our face. In split lighting we placed it directly pointing to
our ears almost, but this is something in between.