12 Dramatic Low Key Black & White Portraits

Low key photography is associated with having high contrast with minimal highlight. Often the lighting will be just enough to outline the subject though that often varies. The main benefit of low key photographs is that they convey an incredibly dramatic effect by maximizing shadow and darkness.

We are sure you will agree that the effect can be incredible.

The low key black and white portraits almost made us shiver. If you would like to know more about low key photography, don’t forget to check out the links at the end of the post.


103 by Steph Carter.

Heard Hard

Heard Hard by Bukutgirl.

Hole to success..

Hole to success by Seema K K.

Despiérteme arriba

Despiérteme arriba by nyki_m.

Portrait of Lahm in B&W - Pimai Thailand (portrait de Lahm en N&B)

Portrait of Lahm by Ronn ashore.

Portrait of an old friend

Portrait of an old friend by skinner08.

day 133 - 09.01.2009 - keep it lo-key

Day 133  by ardenswayoflife.

mike fink - my film history teacher

mike fink – my film history teacher by *ivo*.


190/365 by uneduex.

WORMs are not as bad as you think

WORMs are not as bad as you think by Felinux.

élodie g

élodie g by _nim.

Untitled by Bri…D.

More Low Key Photography Resources


About the author

Rob Wood (Admin)

I'm Rob, the editor of Light Stalking. I try to keep this ship on course.

  • Paul Stone says:

    This is a superb set of photos & very inspirational.

  • Sarah says:

    Wow! What an interesting collection of pictures! You’ve given me a lot of great ideas. Thanks.

  • rodgeyrog says:

    So simple yet so affective

  • Was so inspired by this article I decided to try it out for myself. This is a self portrait


  • above image got a little cut off in the blog layout, so right click and “view image” to see the full size photo.

  • Federica says:

    LOVE it. i will upload some soon.

  • Stephen Pattison says:

    on the whole a good collection , though some are poor – the profile stuck on th edge of the frame , it doesnt work for me . Also what happened to the guys eyes shot by Ronn ashore ?

  • If you enjoyed the article, we'd really appreciate a shout out!