In photography—and in portrait photography—lighting and focal length can have a cinematic impact on the final result. Even the same person can look quite diverse depending on where the light is originating and what lens/distance the photographer is shooting from.
While those are easy statements to agree with, seeing this demonstrated visually can be quite compelling. In the 4 gifs below we can truly see the power of lighting and focal length.
And to further explain and expand on ‘focal length’ the examples seen here use various lenses/focal lengths but keep the same framing of the image, which behind the scenes would require the photographer to reposition the camera. If the camera was in a set position and lenses of various focal lengths were simply swapped out, the shots would just be parts of a cat at various magnifications.