Portrait lighting and working in the studio may seem intimidating for beginners. It’s especially the case for those who tend to be conscious of making mistakes. However, it’s important to keep in mind that no one starts out a master of any photography genre. So, it’s completely normal to make mistakes when you’re starting out. In fact, you may still make a bunch of these mistakes occasionally, even if you’re further along in your photography. It’s especially true when it comes to portrait lighting, since it can take you some time to master.

But, it’s always a good idea to be aware of portrait lighting mistakes early in your photography journey. Fortunately, in the video above, commercial photographer John Gress already listed down the top 10 that every beginner should keep an eye out for. Among these are the dreaded raccoon eyes, the lack of catch lights in the eyes and the lack of fill when using a single flash.

He also included some common issues with backgrounds and bouncing off flash. Mounted flash, for example, usually provides the introduction to portrait lighting. However, there’s more to getting great results with it than bouncing it off a white ceiling instead of pointing it directly at your subject. Likewise, some also tend to forget that they should be bouncing off that light on the right surface nearby instead of having the flash pointed to a dark ceiling or the sky.

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