How to Use Accent and Ambient Lighting on Family Portraits

There is no need to be confused, when it comes to use accent and ambient lighting on family portraits. Most of the people consider it really tricky, but actually it is not.

You first of all need to know the main idea behind these lighting. The chief purpose of the ambient illumination is to give general light to the room. It can be drawn from different directions as such the wall and ceiling.

Whereas, the accent lighting is used to focus one particular area inside the room, like a painting or portrait. It is done through low-level illumination and lamps. One can easily beatify the family portraits by using these lighting techniques.


  • 1

    First of all, you need to select the best lighting sources. It may take plenty of time though. You are supposed to go to the big electric store, and check the best available lighting items for accent and ambient illumination.

    You can seek help from an expert. Choose the items that suit your home and portraits. If you are unable to go to the stores, you can find the lighting items on Internet.

  • 2

    It is not a good idea to hang family portrait on a wall and then look for the lights. It is a possibility that no light could brighten up that wall properly. So, be a little flexible in your approach, so that you can switch to another wall or room if the lighting items don’t work. Choose the room that gets enough natural light.

  • 3

    If your room gets adequate natural light, you need to choose a little dim lighting item. It is always better to choose a bit dim ambient lighting, as it helps you manage the brightness. One can also save plenty of energy by choosing dim lights.

  • 4

    Before identifying the suitable location for your accent lighting, you first need to decide where to hand the portraits. Temporary hang the portraits and lights to analyse the results. If you are not satisfied, you can switch to another location.

  • 5

    Always use soft bulb for your accent lighting fixture. Using a bright lighting source could create an annoying glare on your pictures.

  • 6

    The final step is about modifying the accent lighting. The main objective is to lighten your portrait without creating any shedding shadows. Try different angles to produce the desired result.

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