A low key image is one that contains predominantly dark tones and colors. Like high key images, low key photography conveys atmosphere and mood. But where a high-key image feels airy and light, a lowkey is usually dramatic and full of mystery.

Intimate Portraiture is all about creating a mood. There are two basic kinds of images—and many, many variations in between. Today we’ll look at low key techniques and on Thursday we’ll discuss high key.

High key subjects typically consist on lighter tones, use soft lighting, and contain white or pale tones. High-key lighting is typically soft and free from dark shadows and often contains small darker areas such as eyes to keep them from being too boring.

Low-key lighting is a style of lighting that creates a chiaroscuro (strong contrasts between light and dark) effect by accentuating the contours of an object by throwing areas into shadow and usually only requires one light, maybe just the sun.

Low key pictures concentrate on the darker tones, conveying an atmosphere of mystery and use higher contrast lighting with most of the subject is in shadow and relatively brightly lit small areas. These kind of images are often done in black and white and can be similar in tone to film noir style photographs.


*Our chief photographer received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in December and received the second dose on January 25, 2021. We have had our home and home studio professionally cleaned and sanitized ten different times since the pandemic started so we’re be ready to photograph you when you’re ready to be photographed.

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