What Is a Hair Light? – A Photography Expert’s Definition

The hair light is a very important tool for any photographer to have in their arsenal. It can be used in many different ways, and it’s so simple to use! The best thing about the hair light is that you can get really creative with it. In this article, we will discuss what exactly the hair light does, how to use one properly, and some of our favorite setups.

hair light

 What Is a Hair Light?

A hair light is a small, round source of targeted light that can be used to illuminate the subject’s face. The name comes from its resemblance in shape and direction to how one part of your head is illuminated when someone shines a flashlight on it at night (just don’t shine anything directly into anyone’s eyes). A hair light isn’t just for fancy portraits — some people use them even if they’re taking pictures outdoors or shooting video under fluorescent lighting indoors; others might only use theirs as fill lights instead.

A hair light is lighting placed behind an individual to highlight specific areas such as eyes, nose etc.; it typically creates soft contrast between highlights & shadow area along with gentle gradation across mid-tones which gives nice slimming effect over people having double chin issues like me.

Working With a Hair Light to Create Separation and Highlights

When using a hair light, it’s important to know that you’ll need to do more than just turn it on and point it at your subject. One of the most important things is to make sure you are pointing it in the right direction. You want the light to be positioned slightly above your subjects face, so that it lights up their whole head and helps them stand out from the background.

If you are shooting video outdoors then this might not be enough since there is no control over the sun’s position or direction (although sometimes a sun-flare can work as a substitute). If using a hair light indoors for video, then be sure that you’re using it as a fill light and adjusting the color temperature of your light accordingly.

An alternative to using a hair light is using an edge light. This type of lighting setup creates the same effect as a hair light, but it’s not actually attached to your subject — meaning that you will have more flexibility in how much or little separation you want. The downside is that with no attachment, there isn’t anything keeping the lights from falling over and causing damage!

Hair Light vs Backlight

A hair light is a small, focused beam of soft lighting that’s used to create some separation between the subject and background. A backlight can be any bright source behind your subject, whether it’s an actual window or just another lamp in the room you’re shooting.

A hair light is an additional, mobile-light source used in video productions. The name comes from the idea that it “lights up” a person’s hair and separates them from the background. A backlight provides a subtle separation between someone or something on camera and their environment, often drawing focus to what they’re doing or saying by leaving everything else out of focus.

A backlight is the light that shines from behind your subject, and a hair light illuminates only what’s in front of them.

What Are the Different Types of Studio Lights?

The type of light you should use for your shots is dependent on the amount of time that you have to take them. You will need to choose a light source, such as an LED and then you can start experimenting with angles, qualities and filters.

While natural lighting may not offer a consistent level of quality throughout the day, there are advantages. There may be some things that it’s worth trying in natural lighting before investing money in studio equipment. The first attempt should always be in your own yard or backyard where the sun meets naturally if at all possible.

There are many different types of studio lights available for purchase. Some can be expensive, but they’re worth it because you’ll get the best picture quality possible with them. Here’s a quick rundown on each one:

Key Light – This is your main light source and what gives off most of an image’s brightness/contrasts as well as color tones in photography or film production projects like when taking pictures or shooting videos that require scene setup lighting effects to make certain objects appear brighter while others come across darker if they aren’t lit up themselves by another form of artificial illumination such has from overhead bulbs installed above hanging lamps which reduces shadows cast behind subjects being photographed so their facial features won’t look distorted due to poor exposure technique being used during location shoots.

Fill Light – This light is often used to reduce shadows and make your subject appear brighter when they’re being photographed outdoors during daylight hours or indoors under fluorescent lighting which can give off a bluish tint that makes people look sickly if not corrected by using another source of artificial illumination such as overhead bulbs installed above hanging lamps placed on the opposite side of where key lights are positioned so both sides will be evenly lit up with no dark spots from either direction without needing to purchase expensive equipment that adjusts color tones automatically for you.

Edge Lights – These types of studio lights basically do what their name implies, which is provide an edge around your subject in order to create separation between them and whatever background may be behind them; this type of lighting setup is often used when you want to shoot someone in front of a plain colored backdrop that’s completely white as well as on top of it so their features won’t blend into the background.

Hair Lights – This is basically just an edge light attached right above your subject’s head and slightly towards the back which creates separation between them and whatever background may be behind them by lighting up anything directly behind, surrounding, or even occasionally in front of them from different angles while also providing illumination for faces being photographed outdoors during daylight hours or indoors under fluorescent lighting without needing to purchase expensive equipment that adjusts color tones automatically for you because hair lights can sometimes cause problems if improperly adjusted such as making people look like they have two heads depending upon where something was shot at since they can be extremely bright and harsh if not placed at the proper height from your subject’s head.

What Is a Kicker Light?

Kicker light is a term used for a type of portable lighting that is usually used in photography. The upper area of the subject’s head will be lit by this light due to the advantageous angle which it provides to the photographer. This lumination can also be positioned directly over another form of light source such as an overhead fluorescent light or a strobe.

What Is the Purpose of the Fill Light?

The main function of the fill light is to illuminate the subjects face.

Positioned opposite of the key, or main, light and angled in such a way that it will not create any shadows by blocking it. It does wonders for utilizing natural lighting since most times it’s the brightest type (due to clouds) at noon. Generally put just above eye level and tilted down slightly with a wide aperture so as to allow more ambient light into our shot. What is really cool about this style of lighting is that because we’re angling down on our subject they will naturally have an appearance of convexity – softening their features creating a less harsh looking character which can be very favorable for portraiture photography.

What Type of Light Separates the Subject from the Background?

A photographer must consider what kind of lighting they will use when taking a photo. Different types and levels of lights are suitable for different photos, but one important distinction is whether or not there’s an “open shade” in which case you can get away with using any camera flash unit.

There are various types of lights that can be used to separate the subject from the background. For example, ring-flash is attached around a camera lens so it falls on both sides and creates an even circle similar to split lighting which helps separates subjects in portraits without overexposing them or creating shadows behind them due to too much light coming from one side as opposed for two different directions such as through window exposure where half of person’s face will be well lit while other not exposed at all.

How do you use hair light

You can use a hair light for a few reasons, whether you want to add some edge light to the subject’s head or if you’re looking for something to separate your subject from the background.

Hair light is a key element in fashion photography. It can help fill out shadows on the face and body, which gives your subjects more definition than they would get with only ambient lighting alone.

Hair lights are used to give artistic depth to an image by adding highlights or catchlights where there might not be any otherwise (i.e., near the eyes), thus giving greater dimensionality of form to faces and bodies through their modeling effects – that helps define shapes for viewers without resorting to flatness from unmodeled shadow areas cast across them as well as other parts of scenes represented within images taken at different exposures relative one another when photographed using artificial/synthetic lighting sources & photographic equipment like flash units meant for what’s done;

When positioning a hair light where should it be relative to the subject of your image?

A hair light should be positioned at 45 degrees to the side of a subject, about a foot or 2 away from their head.

This will ensure that there are no shadows falling across their face or body which can lead them looking much older than they actually are.

What is a good fill light?

A good fill light will illuminate your subject and provide just enough light to eliminate shadows. A good fill light should be opposite of the key, or main, light and it should not create any shadows by blocking it. Fill light has another function, in which it separates a person from the background.

Fill lights come in various types and have different purposes. Ring-flash is attached around a camera lens so that it falls on both sides and creates an even circle similar to split lighting which helps separates subjects in portraits without overexposing them or creating shadows behind them due to too much light coming from one side.

What is 3 point lighting setup?

A three point lighting setup begins with a key light that is placed directly in front of the subject, and is usually the main focus of the photograph. In some cases, it can be positioned to one side as well. The next step is to use a fill light on the opposite side of the key light which will make sure that there are no shadows falling across the face or body. For those who want their subject to be more prominent in their photo, they might also want a backlight, which goes behind them. It can also be used for other purposes, such as providing drama when shooting stage plays or movies.


The hair light is the single most important lighting source in portraiture. It’s literally what separates a good portrait from an amazing one, so it deserves your time and attention. The key to using this type of light successfully is understanding how it works with other elements of photography such as facial expressions or body position. From there you can create stunning photos that are sure to wow everyone who sees them!