Minimalist Lighting Setup for Photography

Let’s unpack it together in this photography tutorial.

simple photography lighting setup with 1 or 2 lights

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Minimalist Lighting Setup for Photography

A Simple Yet Effective Lighting Setup for Indoor Photography

It can be easy to get carried away with elaborate setups and packing tons of gear for your shoots. Wouldn’t it be great if you could achieve the same amazing lighting with a simple photography light setup instead?

Having complex setups with a bunch of gear doesn’t always mean you will have better shots. You can save yourself time and money while also getting amazing photos by mastering a minimal light setup.

In this video tutorial, Brady Bessette shares these easy to apply lighting set tips for both a warm-toned shoot or cool-toned shooot.

Keeping Lighting Simple with These Easy Tips

Read the following simple tips on how to make the most out of simple lighting set-up to make things look good without hours of fussing with lights.

2 examples of simple light setups, one a cool-toned shoot, the other a warm-toned shoot below!

Simple Photography Light Setup Tips: Cool Tones with 2 Lights

This concept uses two lights set to 600 kelvin to get cool toned vibes. Cool tones can represent feelings of calm, relaxed and reserved and are usually used for nature, nighttime and water shots.

Cool tones give a dark or mysterious aesthetic to the scene. Brady uses this for a piano scene with haze and filtered light.

For a cool tone one light setup, use something like an Aputure 300x bi-colour light on stand and set to cool blue, or 6000 kelvin for the light temperature.

The second light for this cool tone scene can be somthing like an Amran F22c to give a little more attention and focus to the subject.

Position this over the subject pointing down on them, and just out of frame. Add the soft box with the grid onto it to soften and diffuse the light.

(The soft box softens the light, and the grid focuses it more on the subject without spilling into the rest of the room).

This image is the final product of this cool tone 2 light setup:

two lights used to make a cool tone dark scene for this photo


Simple Photography Light Setup Tips: Warm Tones with 1 Light

Using artificial light, it’s easy to create an indoor ‘sunset scene’ – even if it’s daytime or nighttime outside!

With only one light needed for a sunset scene like this, rig up an Aputure 600c light on stand with the reflector dish attached. Colour temperature of the light should be set to 4000 kelvin to achieve the warm sunset vibes without overdoing it. 

Place the light outside shooting in througuh the window as if it was coming through like the sun. Window blinds or curtains add extra texture for the light coming through the window.

With only one light source, you will want to get creative and use something in the scene as a ‘bounce’. This is something to reflect the light from the light source out of the window to help light the scene more.

Brady noticed that the sheet music on the piano worked to reflect light from the window onto the subjects face.

This can help you achieve back lighting and front and side lighting on your subject at the same time without having to set up additional light sources.

This scene’s final shot turned out really beautiful:

One warm light in the window sets a sunset scene for photography


Simple Photography Light Setup Tips: Setting the Scene

In both of these scenes, the light set by the ‘window’ of the scene gives you great backlighting for what the subject is doing.

Also, to get an interesting feel for the shoot and lighting, you can try something to diffuse or break up the light, like a torn sheet for the light to pass through.

You can also use a light diffuser kit attached to the light source to soften the light.

For the lighting vibes in both of these example scenes, try adding haze smoke to fill the room with either cool or warm tone for vibes. It will add texture to light and creates visible beams or flares passing through scene.

Adding things like the haze in the room adds to the ambience, fills out the space and gives the light more visual surfaces to bouce off of. 

Finally, placing the subject in between the camera and light source can create interesting looking light flares and sillhouette.

simple photography light setup with one or two lights create beautiful photos


You don’t always need a complex lighting setup or a lot of gear to make a really cool scene.

Photography is all about being creative, using textures and light to tell a story. Luckily this doesn’t need to be complicated or expensive! Just try one or two lights to create different feelings in the scene.

Want to improve your photography even more? Check out this comprehensive photography guide!

Which of these simple lighting tips will you try THIS WEEK?

Comment below!

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