10 Stunning Portrait Photographs That Make Brilliant Use of Backlighting

Ritesh Saini
Ritesh Saini

New / Noteworthy

It’s a common belief in photography to keep the subject perfectly lit from the front to capture good photographs. While it is generally true in many cases, shooting against the light and utilizing backlighting can let you create some stunning images.

Take portrait photos, for example. Backlit portrait images can help you capture rim lighting, the fine illumination or halo of light surrounding your portrait subject, especially with the light dispersing through their hair. This can be accomplished using both natural and artificial light. Early morning or late afternoon, when the sun is low in the sky, is a great time to utilize sunlight to photograph backlit portraits.

This post is a collection of photographs that illuminate how backlighting can add a magical touch to your portrait shots. It’s not going to be about silhouettes though, just to be clear. We hope that these photos inspire you to capture backlit portraits of your own.

If creating portraits is something that interests you and you would like a more complete training on capturing memorable portraits, do take a look at Kent DuFault’s guide on the art of portrait photography. But for now, let’s sit back and enjoy these photographs!

Photo by Arman Dz.

Photo by Igor Gorshkov

Photo by Kai Heidel

Photo by Mitya Ku

Photo by Sebastian Juśko

Photo by Jonathan Kos-Read

If you want a more complete training on capturing truly memorable portrait photographs, take a look at the guide The Art of Portrait Photography. It covers everything you need to know to take great portrait shots consistently – lighting and posing tips, composition guidelines, getting great shots from minimal equipment, and much more. Click here now to check it out.

Photo by Luis Hernandez

Photo by Silentmind8

Photo by Nicki Varkevisser

Photo by Chris Ford

Photo by Anna Gearhart

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If you’d like to produce your own inspiring, memorable images that convey real meaning and emotion, our Art of Portrait Photography eBook is the perfect next step. It covers everything you need to know to take consistently great portrait shots – lighting and posing tips, composition guidelines, getting great shots from minimal equipment, and much more.

This eBook is 213 pages of instruction, case-studies and assignments to help you produce captivating portrait shots. Plus it includes a free exclusive interview with Sean Malyon.

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About Ritesh Saini

About Ritesh Saini

Ritesh has been photographing for about nine years now and his photographic interests have varied from nature and landscapes to street photography. He recommends Kent DuFault's best-selling premium photography guide, The Art of Portrait Photography, to produce your own inspiring, memorable portraits.

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