My attempts at creating a hair light have been less than successful; I can get a hint of highlight but nothing like I see in the pro shots. What are the things that I should be adjusting in terms of location, height, distance, and light modifiers?

  • 2
    The accepted answer is one short paragraph and a diagram. As I said in the bounty, that's a good start — but that's not all there is to this topic. Why do it that particular way? What other options are there? When would one choose one over the other?
    – mattdm
    Feb 19, 2019 at 22:13

1 Answer 1


I'd put a hair light almost behind the model and a bit high and try to have it very focused so it wouldn't spill into the camera, using a grid or snoot. Something like this:

  • 3
    And once you have your hair light set up, try turning of all other lights and take an image with just the hair light (keeping your exposure the same). This will quickly show you if your hair light is bright enough.
    – MikeW
    May 3, 2012 at 9:40

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.