For my first ever blog post I want to talk about one of the most important aspects of photography (if not the most important)... lighting.

I have been doing photography for 7 years now and entered into the professional world nearly a year ago. My journey with light and my camera has been a long one!

Photographers talk about light during shoots a lot and I have only recently realised what they mean, just how important it is and the effect it can have on your photographs.

Below are a few examples of similar photos I've shot, but in different lighting.

Two of the examples are sunlight vs no sunlight and the other two are examples of front lighting vs back lighting

Photo Duo One:

Ben at sunset

- sunlight vs no sunlight

These two images were shot 10 seconds apart, in that time we lost the sun.

I love shooting at golden hour - this is the period shortly after sunrise or before sunset, during which light is redder and softer than when the Sun is higher in the sky (but only works it magic when the sun isn't behind a cloud)!

The first image is very warm and the low sun has created some lovely soft highlights and shadows across Ben's face. The second image, although still a nice portrait of Ben, appears colder, less striking and lacks the character that the first has.

Photo Duo Two:

Violet in the woods

- sunlight vs no sunlight

These two of Violet were shot about 5 minutes apart as I followed her on her little adventure.

In image one, the winter sun briefly showed itself and highlighted Violet's eyes beautifully. Image two is lit by the overcast sky and, again, is still a nice image but appears flatter and there's no little catch in her eyes.

Photo Duo Three:

Baby Seth at home

- frontlit vs backlit

These two adorable images were shot in Mum and Dad's bedroom in front of their big window. Taken a few minutes apart with the only change being changing the direction I was shooting in relevance to where the light was. In the first image the light was directly behind me - capturing skin tones and the little details. In the second the light was directly behind Mum, Dad and baby Seth - giving a 'halo' effect and arty feel. (I can't decide which is my favourite out of these two!)

Photo Duo Four:

Sisters at Prom

- frontlit vs backlit

Direct sunlight is a tricky light condition to shoot in, as your clients end up squinting (naturally as they're looking into the sun) with harsh highlights and shadows on their face - which isn't what anyone wants! The way to combat this is to turn your clients around to face you with the sun behind them.

Here is the dramatic difference between shooting with the light behind your clients vs the light directly in front of them.

The first image is backlit, natural and warm. In the second image, the two sisters are, like I said above, squinting and the highlights and shadows are harsh.

It takes a lot of courage and trust in yourself the first time you turn your clients away from the sunlight, but trust me, it works!

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