When it comes to lights, theories run deep. Textbooks about explaining light and its usage have been around for hundreds of years, and this isn’t even including color theory. You don’t need to be a master lighter, but let’s go over the basics just so you know why the general layout is usually the way it is.
Typically there will be three types of lighting you encounter. Front lighting, though flat looking, helps bring out natural details by hiding shadows. Side lights add in the depth by creating shadows. Back lights hit the subject from behind to create a glow and add depth. Sometimes you’ll be faced with all and sometimes none based on the goals of the shoot.
Much like lighting, the desired product greatly influences the tools of the trade. Photographers typically have one type of camera and a ton of different add-ons they switch between. Sometimes there’s a flash, other times they need five different lenses. While it may seem confusing, know that along with the light, they are testing out the canvas that will give them the perfect results.
Physically, most photographers are extremely active. You know how angles are important for selfies? This concept is no different for photographers. Angles greatly affect what is seen and how it is perceived. As far as their cameras go, the best thing you can hope to see is a photographer that experiments with lens length and distance from the subject. An 85mm versus a 200mm can make or break the natural beauty of a shot.