High Key vs. Low Key Lighting Portraits and Studio Lighting
High Key Lighting High-key portraiture will have more even light, with very few harsh shadows. High key lighting tends to make the scene more upbeat, happy, and feminine.
High key photography uses unnaturally bright lighting to blow out most or all harsh shadows in an image. You see high key used regularly for fashion (catalogue) photography, product photography.
Low-key portraiture has dramatic lighting, and tends to be very moody. Instead of eliminating shadows as in high key photography, low-key photographers utilize dark scenes and heavy contrast to convey a sense of drama or foreboding.