It's All In The Light: 5 Tips to Mastering Light Today

One of the most important aspects of any photo is LIGHTING. Get this wrong, and you could ruin a photograph. Get this right, and it can take your photography to another level. With that said: lighting can be complicated. Here are some things I have learned about lighting. 

1. Avoid sun spots.

In harsh midday sun, try to avoid the shadows of leaves and trees and the sun splotches on clothing and faces. Try to find a fully-shaded area where your subject is completely covered in shade.

2. Check all angles.

There are all kinds of tricks you can use to find the best light, but for beginners, I always suggest photographing every angle. See which angle has the best light in your camera before determining where you will shoot your session. Even if it is time consuming, it will make or break your final result. You will start to get a better idea of where the best lighting will be and it will become easier to figure out and go much faster.

Natural Lighting3. Golden hour

Yes, it is true. The hour before sunset is golden hour.  It's the dream light for any photographer. There is still a trick to this light though. Place your subject with the sun behind them - not directly behind but to the right or left of them. This will give their hair a golden effect and illuminate your subject perfectly.

4. Indoor natural light

The best natural light indoors is facing a window. It took me a long time to figure out that my subjects had to actually face the light coming in from outside. Once I figured that out, my photos were so much better and my subjects stood out.

Silhouette Lighting

5. The silhouette effect

You know those gorgeous silhouette photos? Well it's all about the lighting. The trick is to place your subject in direct light. Have the light harshly lit behind them and photograph their silhouette.

For indoor photographs, you can do this in front of a glass door or window with bright light behind them.

For outdoor photos, I love to wait until sunset and place my subject on a hill. I stand at the bottom of the hill, place my camera in TV mode, and photograph them with the setting sun slightly beside and behind them.

Lighting is key to the perfect photo and it takes practice to understand light. Don't be afraid to try different light, different angles and even harsh sun. Sometimes the most beautiful photos can come from the most unexpected light.

karissa collinsMeet Karissa Collins: I have been married for 10 years (in July) and am the mom to six amazing little blessings ages 7, 5, 4, 3, 1 and 3 months. I am a God-fearing, home-schooling, photography obsessed mom who makes...yes makes...her children take pictures everyday. I started my photography journey exactly two years ago and it has been such a great learning experience and start up business. It can get hard balancing being a mom, teacher, wife, disciple and photographer but the benefits outweigh the stresses. I specialize in family photography and newborns but enjoy weddings and engagement photography as well. Website | Facebook