I have always been drawn to the old glamour portraits of the golden era of Hollywood. There is something about the simplicity of them that inspires me. What’s really cool about most of the old glamour portraits is that they were lit with continuous movie lights. What’s even cooler, is with just a few continuous lights, you too can create beautiful glamour portraits in any studio space.


In the video below sponsored by AdoramaTV, Daniel Norton walks us through a fairly simple three light set up using Arri continuous lights for a simple, yet elegant glamour portrait.


Nikon D4s
Zeiss 85mm f/1.4
Arri 300/150 Lighting Kit


The technique Daniel walks us through is pretty simple, and as I said above, this is a technique that can be done in any studio space. I really enjoyed how he uses the Arri continuous lights. Coming from a video background, I used Arri continuous lights all the time and love how continuous lights allow you to see exactly how the light will fall on your subject vs. strobes and speedlights. Studio strobes have modeling lights allowing you to see how the light will fall, but you still need to adjust your output accordingly. With continuous lighting, you can adjust the power and see how the light will fall all at once, which is just easier sometimes.

I also love how Daniel builds his lighting in steps. Starting with the main light on a boom, he then moves on to add a hair light to help separate his model from the background, and finally adds a fill light to light the shadows under the model’s chin. This is how I build lighting when using strobes or continuous lights, and I believe if you are just starting out, you should do the same. Building your lighting in steps will teach you how each light is affecting your portraits leading up to your final light setup.




This video tutorial is simple and easy to understand. When I first learned lighting, it was for video and I used continuous lights. I know for a fact being able to see my lighting when I was learning has help me a lot as I use more strobes and speedlights for my still photography. If you’re new to photography, I think picking up an inexpensive set of continuous lights, and using them to learn how the light will fall onto you subject will help you understand how to light any still portrait down the road.

Via: Adorama Youtube Page

Images captured via screen grab