There’s something about low light that draws me in. Maybe it’s the romantic atmosphere it exudes, or the depth it can give an image to make it look three-dimensional.
When Ellie asked me to write for the annual “Lighting” issue, she suggested “Lighting Patterns.” My first thought was dark, gloomy closeups with sad people and of course Rembrandt.
Being able to control and manipulate natural light will differentiate your brand in a congested market is essential to a profitable, sustainable business.
Senior portraits are what really kicked off my photography career and made me fall in love with photography. I’ve been in business for four years now and have been using only natural light with all my senior portrait shoots since the beginning!
The versatility you can achieve with just one window is amazing. I’ve often heard the excuse, “I don’t have a beautiful space or home to shoot in.” At one point in my life, while my family was in the middle of building a home, we lived in a tiny, old, drafty apartment. It was far from picture perfect, but in the right light none of that mattered.
Creating dynamic portraits using a reflector is not as simple as you might think at first. Understanding the lighting from the scene will help you determine the best place to position your reflector. On this shoot, Sal uses the sun as a kicker light, while using the reflector to create a nice even fill.
In this video, Sal demonstrates how he uses natural light to create beautiful portraits. From the position he needs to be, to communicating with his subject, this video will give you a great inside look on what it takes to use natural lighting to create the look you’re wanting.
Whether the story is very apparent visually or more subtle, I want to understand it so I am then able to start designing a lighting plan to represent that story. Should the lighting be soft or natural to reflect the subject’s personality? By starting with their stories, I am inspired to visually tell a story with light.
What is great light and how do you create it? First, learn how to think about light and develop a lighting vocabulary. This will help you make informed decisions about tools and techniques. When you’re developing an understanding of lighting, the fundamental concept to embrace is that there is no one-size-fits-all solution for every situation or subject matter.
Understanding lighting as the primary photographer is, of course, the most important part of creating images. When photographers start out in their career, their assistant is a light stand. There isn’t much collaboration in that, and it means you’re still doing all the work yourself. The beauty of being able to add an actual human assistant allows you to get creative and bounce ideas off of each other throughout the process. Before you can get to that place, you have to ensure your assistant is trained properly and understands lighting not as a photographer, but as an assistant. Let me explain.