Simplicity in portrait photography – does it work?

Lighting in photography is a science in itself. In an infinite sea of options that are ready to be explored, with the elaborate techniques that involve multiple light sources, power outputs, and modifiers, does simplicity still work in portrait photography? Today, we are covering the effectiveness of the one light combined with our specialty – hand-painted canvas backgrounds.

Of course, if you are looking to master the art of lighting, your journey will be far more complicated than this and will take time. However, should you be at the start of your journey, or even looking to step away for a moment from the everyday complexity of your set-ups and just get back to the basics, one light is an as simple yet effective technique as they come! As a beginner or even an experienced photographer, you could play with a lot of different options and positions to achieve multiple variations when shooting portraits.


Photo by Eneka Stewart


Photo by Kenji Shimizu


Photo by Francesco Padovani


Add to that the versatility of a canvas backdrop, and it’s safe to say that you have some great material to work with within the next few shoots! A great backdrop can add a lot of character to your pictures, set a specific atmosphere that you’re looking to achieve, and, overall create a timeless portrait in no time. Whether you’re going for a smooth or a textured background will just be your preference when creating the portrait that will highlight your best qualities.

Combined, these two are extremely compatible and versatile. If you’re feeling like it, you can also use a reflector as a fill-in combination with your key light. With these 3 in your arsenal, you can create both shadowy and dramatic images and yet still be able to achieve clean, well-lit, and detailed photos.

Another huge advantage of a one-light – canvas background set-up is that all of the versatility mentioned above can be achieved within a very small time frame – this set up won’t take long to put up, a couple of minutes to hang your favorite background, and while shooting, it will take little to no time to adjust the light to allow for a couple of different looks because you’re maneuvering just one light! 

Below, we’ve included a couple of great shots achieved with one-light set-ups and canvas background from our clients, to serve as an inspiration for your creative process on the next occasion you decide to try this! 



What are we to make out of everything spoken of today? As you progress in the beautiful world of photography, you will be inspired to explore and experiment with different lighting options. To cover the basics, and get back to them and find inspiration in them is also part of the process. So don’t be afraid to try, repeat, and explore – your next perfect portrait might just be one light away.


Get yourself a backdrop

What are we to make out of everything spoken of today? As you progress in the beautiful world of photography. What are we to make out of everything spoken of today? As you progress in the beautiful world of photograph.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *