Masthead header

Lighting Diagrams

Late on Sunday nights, when I should really be focusing on important things like getting ready for all the things in the week ahead, I usually come up with my silly ideas for this blog.  Tonight is no different.  For all of you budding photogs out there, this is my dedication to you.  I’m going to start providing images posted up next to a diagram of the lighting setup used for said image.  This should help you understand how the lights work and how you can achieve similar results.  If you want to know any more details about the diagrams, please leave your question in the comments section, and I’ll make sure to get an answer to you ASAP.

As for tonight, I needed a new self-portrait to use for the blog I’ll have for IUPUI’s website, as well as for Twitter and Facebook.  I wanted something uncluttered, professional, and very business-like.

Jon Brewer Photography - Lighting Diagram

Self Portrait Lighting Diagram


I tried a couple different approaches, but this is what I ended up with.  I used a large octabox (diffused and gridded, even though it doesn’t show that) as my main light, about 7-8 feet up and to camera right.  Directly to my right (camera left) was a strobe set at low power and low to the ground pointing up for some hightlight work.  Finally, I hand held a large white reflector at chest level to bring to catch light into the scene and highlight my boring, dull, brown eyes.  And believe it or not, the background is actually white.  I still wonder why people use white, gray, and black backdrops when you can get all three with just creative lighting.  Anyways, I hope you guys enjoy these tutorials.  I’ll definitely bring some more if I get a warm response.


Nathan Karamanski - I really like these types of blog posts from any photographer. It really helps to see how others are using/abusing 3 point lighting. This is great especially using only 2 lights. Is that an HMI softbox? If so/not what manufacturer/model is it?

Jon Brewer - @Nate

Yeah, I was gonna go 3-light, but the bulb burned out in my third. Had to resort to some creativity, haha. As for the softbox, it’s from Paul C. Buff, aka AlienBees/WhiteLightning. ( Good, inexpensive gear. The lights are Alien Bees (1xB1600, 2xB400 with out out of commission right now).

Episode 4 , DIY Photo Studio Lighting Video - […] Lighting Diagrams | Jon Brewer Photography […]

Alan - Thanks for the great info!

Yes, I think we would all love more light diagrams =]

Lichtsetups Lighting Setups | Thomas Lammeyer Foto Design Blog - […] Jon Brewer […]

Daniel - Simple but effective Setup – thanks :)

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *