Learn Portrait Lighting with This Mannequin
Learning about portrait lighting, especially flash portraiture, can be challenging. Enlisting the aid of your friends or someone in your family is always a good idea. You can practice with a real person and avoid the fees of a model. But let’s face it, people are only so patient; nobody wants to sit there for more than a few minutes at a time. And there are times when you’re solidly in the learning zone and you could continue practicing and experimenting with your lighting for hours.
I’d made a previous video about using a $5 styrofoam head for portrait lighting practice. It’s a great way to learn the effects of a key light on facial features. But if you really want to take this to another level, I’d suggest a mannequin like the one in the following video.
Practicing your portrait lighting on real people is the best way to learn how to photograph them. That’s because portraiture is not just about lighting techniques, it’s also about rapport building and posing and interaction. But when it comes to perfecting specific lighting scenarios and learning how slight changes in lighting intensity, distances, and angles can affect the overall look of a portrait, a mannequin is an invaluable tool.