I’ve posted before about how changing the lighting type and angle can make a big difference in portrait photography. Here are some examples of the effect of different light sources; studio lights and daylight, and how they can be balanced to give an intriguing look.
This first image was shot with quite diffuse studio flash. The light was bouncing off lots of white surfaces and this gave a gradual brightness change from one side of her face to the other. There’s a nice single catchlight in her eyes, and the softness of the look contrasts well with the geometric lines and texture of the wall behind her.
This next image was shot with just natural light coming in through the studio window. There’s a much greater change of brightness across her face, with the shadow side being much darker. I asked her to turn her head so that her right eye was still catching the light well, and to give a small light area on her right cheek. Her face contrasts very nicely with the black background.
This third image uses studio flash and daylight. I set the exposure so that the background, lit by daylight, would be underexposed, and so that her face, lit by studio flash, would be properly exposed. The balance of brightness between her face and the darker background creates a different mood.
Same person, 3 different looks, just by simple lighting changes.