There are a million ways to light up a portrait. However you feel to light it will tell the audience what kind of style and mood you are opting for. Our talented community member Holger (also known as Lichtreize) has a very dramatic style to his portraits. The number one things when it comes to dramatic photos is the lightning - and Holger knows everything about it. Enjoy his beautiful portraits and his Top 7 Dramatic Portrait Photography Tips.

1. Less Is More

If you work in a studio, use just one light source in the beginning. More lights = more stress. For example: use a big octabox to enlighten the whole scene or use a beauty dish for portraiture. It can also be advantageous to start shooting in modeling light.

2. For Your Outdoor Shoots

Also don’t bother with lights/flashes when you do outdoor-shoots. Try to use natural light (cloudy is best) and a reflector to enlighten shadows in the face (beyond the nose for example). You don’t need all the expensive stuff like portable flashes to take expressive pictures!

3. Let’s Talk About Focal Lenses

Use fixed focal lenses when you do outdoors and on-location photos shoots. Zooms (that are already useful in the studio) can bother you. A FF like 35 (for the whole body), 50 oder 85mm (for portrait) let you explore the model more and dive into the location.

4. That ISO

Don’t care about a high ISO on locations (for example up to 1600iso on amateur cameras and up to 6400 ISO on pro cameras). More or less noise can add beauty and an analogue feeling to your images. That wax skin feeling is horrible ;-)

5. The Model’s Face Is A Map

Move around the model to find her best-looking side. Let her (or him) put her head down or slightly up - try to explore the face in all directions.

6. B/W

Something that’s very useful in difficult light situations: take your pictures with an in build camera b/w filter (especially when you shoot in raw). This let’s you evaluate better the lightning and shadows in the previews.

7. Let’s Get Personal

Get to know your model. Before getting on with the photos shoot drink a cup of coffee with her/him, ask her about her life and hobbies, etc.). He or she will then, hopefully, be more comfortable during the photos shoot.

For more beautiful photos taken by Holger, visit his profile, website, Instagram and Facebook page.