Photography Tip | Not All Light Is Created Equal

June 13, 2018

Creating Better Portraits with your iPhone or Phone

Your little one is going to grow up so unbelievably fast, the old cliché “blink and they are teenagers” is so incredibly true. When you are in the moment of sleeplessness nights and temper tantrums because you gave them the blue cup and not the red cup, it seems like these stages last forever -but sadly, they don’t. Luckily, we have the amazing technology right in our pockets. The technology literally allows us to freeze time and to capture the amazing moments that unfold before us. I have a gazillion and a half 4x6s pictures of my kids… I remember filling up 12 rolls of film during my oldests first month… most of them being-well, terrible.

With the advanced cameras in phones it has made it so easy to document your little ones first year (and beyond). Hopefully this blog post will help you a little bit! Cameras are a complex creature, it takes time to learn and understand the settings, this is not what this blog post is about – this is just a simple tip to help the photos that you are already taking shine a bit brighter.

Cameras are all about one thing and one thing only. LIGHT, its why in my studio you see a ginormous box, because the light that comes out of it is delicious and soft. This is the topic of todays blog post.

“Not all light is created equal”

Remember this mantra. MORE light does not mean better light. Like ever. In fact, usually the LESS light the better. Usually the first thing a professional photographer that uses natural light will do when they enter a room to photograph in will turn all the lights off.

Have you ever taken a photo and the overhead lights were on and even though you were by a window, your subject came out with an orange tint, or had an orange spot on the head/hair? Or maybe was darker than you intended? Well its because of white balance you see your camera is trying to take all the information it sees (light) and make it 50% grey.. 50% WHAT?! Yeah, I know. It’s a complicated thing, but just know the camera is trying to think for you, so we want to eliminate what it is trying to think about. How??? Turn off those overhead lights! If you have a window that is letting in natural light that is all the light you need! Now obviously, if it is dark in your room this does not apply, I am talking about photos during the day.

So turn those overhead/table lamps off and grab a blanket and put it by the window and let your child explore a toy, book, hands or feet.. and snap away! Put the window to your back when photographing your child and let the natural light illuminate your little ones face. Using natural light will not only create a nice soft look for your portraits, but it will help make eyes pop as the window will cause a nice catchlight (the bright spot in the eyes of photographs).

In the next blog post, we will talk about how to use the light and changing your view point to create multiple images from the same scene.

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