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13 September, 2017

How to take Portrait Lighting photos like Apple does with your iPhone

This image was shown during the Apple keynote to sell the new Portrait Lighting software feature. Look at the shadow under the model's nose. Note that it does not reach the lips. The shadow from the chin is also elongated.
This is simply called "Butterfly lighting."



The butterfly portrait lighting effect effect is typically made with a studio light placed above the models face and pointing down. (Via Digital Camera World tutorial poster)
Apple uses actual studio lighting to to sell you on their software feature. 

A large studio softbox light can be seen in the reflection of this model's eyes. This is another image Apple showed when touting their Portrait lighting software feature for the new iPhones. (via Apple Keynote Sept. 12, 2017) 




Another image from the Portrait lighting segment clearly shows a large studio light being reflected in the model's eyes. This image was shown by Apple's VP or worldwide marketing, Phil Schiller as another example of what the software can do.

The studio lighting set up for this type of portrait is called a Rembrandt. The triangle patch of light on the cheek is the hallmark of this style.

Schiller stood in front of an image of studio lighting to try to convince us the iPhone can do the same without having special equipment or knowing lighting techniques. That is simply not true.
The software can selectively modify the exposure, but not the quality and direction of light in the real world.
The only way your iPhone portraits will look as good as the images Apple showed at their event is to use studio lights and to master these portrait lighting techniques.
Poster from Digital Camera World.