Lighting is something which can define you as a photographer.
To have someone look at one of your images, and know its yours is the ultimate compliment, and when the common denominator in your images is your lighting style you are well on your way to being a leader.
When studying the art of lighting in photography some of the best inspiration comes from the art world, rather than from photographs themselves. When you are looking for inspiration, instead of heading to Pinterest, go to your nearest art gallery to wander aimlessly to allow you to fill your brain with creative ideas.
Looking back in history, some of the artworks that have come out of the 17th Century have incredible examples of lighting techniques which are a great study. Looking at artists like Johannes Vermeer and Michelangelo Merisi Da Caravaggio, they have incredible examples of Lighting Fundamentals like, Composition, Lighting Angles, subject placement – all affecting how the light and the shadows change the way you view a painting or a photograph.
When looking at designing your photographs, the theory is all the same. Learn the Theory, and your images will come to life with depth and dimension. Work towards using your lighting to help tell the story in the image. A different lighting style can affect the story you are portraying in an image, and how the viewer feels about your work.