Lighting Ideas Pictures

At the WPPI wedding and portrait photography conference and expo this year, photographer Trevor Dayley taught this 1-hour class titled “17 Fast, Easy, Awesome Lighting Recipes.” Dayley shares 17 lighting ideas you can keep in mind on any portrait shoot using a memorization story.

The story is a strange tale filled with emphasized keywords — memorize the story, and you’ll be able to instantly recall any of the 17 recipes when you need them. Here’s the mnemonic device, paraphrased:

You’re at your house. The

alarm clock goes off. It’s

1 o’clock in the morning. You go out the door and

cross the street. You look up and see a

double rainbow. Behind it, the

sky is changing colors. Suddenly

clams start to fall from the sky. Then a

beam of light starts zapping the clams. Then an SUV pulls up with huge

rims. The beam of light zaps it and it

splits in half, and out pops a

ninja who’s entirely

blacked out. The ninja causes an

explosion of light. As your vision starts coming back, you start

seeing colors. Suddenly you hear

fireworks and you see them shooting over the

stadium in the distance. You look to the

side and there’s the ninja smoking a

cigar and standing inside of a glowing


Dayley shares of these 17 lighting recipes with a simple clock-based lighting diagram. The subject is always at the center of the diagram, and the lightning and camera symbols indicate the positions of the flashes and photographers in relation to the subject:

Here are the 17 different lighting recipes, with each one followed by an example photo captured using that setup:

Watch the 1 hour, 23 minute video above for the full class Dayley taught, which includes his explanations and tips for each of these 17 different setups. If you’d like to jump to any of these setups directly, here’s an index:

00:12:25 – Memorization Story

00:20:44 – One Light

00:22:42 – Cross Light

00:25:30 – Double Rainbow

00:28:45 – Changing Sky Light

00:34:23 – Calm Shell Light

00:35:40 – Beam Light

00:38:35 – Rim Light

00:40:51 – Split Light

00:42:00 – Ninja Light

00:44:30 – Blackout Light

00:50:47 – Explosion Of Light

00:55:36 – Seeing Colors Light

00:59:58 – Firework Light

01:03:49 – Stadium Light

01:06:00 – Side Light

01:08:20 – Cigar Light

01:11:56 – Triangle Light

In terms of gear, Dayley uses Flashpoint/Godox flashes and transmitters with MagMod magnetic modifiers.

Image credits: All diagrams and photos by Trevor Dayley and used with permission

Source :

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