Low key lighting in portrait photography can do one really big thing for your subject: make them pop out from the background a whole lot more. I mean, isn’t that the whole point of portraiture? To make someone stand out and be the primary subject? When combined with very specific lighting, your subject can really come across front and center so to speak. So for the most part, I want you to imagine that an actor or actress is on stage for a bit of theatre. A spotlight comes in on them and the rest of the stage isn’t lit at all. In fact, it’s incredibly dark. So more or less, you’re really just seeing your subject and nothing else. That’s how low key lighting works.
So here’s how you make it work to create better portraits.