The Halo Light

by William Lulow

The next lighting setup is called the “Halo Light.” It is achieved by placing the light behind the subject in such a way as to make the shadow of the subject fall directly on the camera lens. It creates a “glow” around the subject and, combined with a main light in the front, can produce a dramatic effect. Here is what the Halo Light, by itself looks like:

HaloLight I sometimes use this setup effectively while shooting weddings or portraits outdoors. I position the subject(s) with their backs to the sun. This lets the sun create the halo. But without some sort of light to light up the faces, they would all be in shadow like the shot above. So, I need to place a light or a reflector in front of the subject. This is an example of this kind of lighting setup:

Lifestyle(ManWoman)_3This image was made using the sun as a halo light and a portable flash in front to fill in the shadows. You can tell because the shadows fall in front of the subject(s). This is one of my favorite outdoor lighting setups. When the light source is behind the subject, you have to be careful to keep the lens in the shade, otherwise you will get some lens flare.