If you are new to working with artificial lighting, it can be a bit discouraging when you look at the work of established professionals and see them often using complex multi-light setups. However, you can absolutely make creative and compelling professional-level photos using a single light setup, and this fantastic video tutorial will show you one such setup.
Coming to you from Lindsay Adler Photography, this excellent video tutorial will show you how she lit and shot a one-light portrait. In this case, Adler is using a Magnum reflector, which produces fairly hard light suitable for creating a dramatic, high-contrast look. Adler places the light high and off to the side to bring through the model’s features, then uses a good dose of contrast and clarity in post along with the black and white edit to further accentuate the look. If you are new to artificial lighting, it is important to start with a single light, as you will want to build up an intuitive understanding of its fundamental properties and behavior before you tackle more complex setups, and tutorials like these are a great reminder that sometimes, one light is all you need. Check out the video above for the full rundown from Adler.