Improve Your Senior Pictures By Learning to See Light

Thanks for joining us today!! Let’s take a look at what kind of light can make our senior portraits better. One of the most powerful tools you will use as a senior portrait photographer is your ability to see different light situations. Just being aware of these situations will give you the photography advantage over many other people.

For this post we will discuss two basic types of light.

1) Hard Light

2) Soft Light

Let’s take a look at hard light. If you go outdoors and shoot pictures in the middle of a sunny day, you have seen hard light. Hard light causes the highlights (light parts of the picture) to become hot spots (really bright white), or really white areas that have no detail and are distracting to your pictures. Hard Light also causes deep shadows to fall on your subject due to the intensity and direction of the light. Hard light is not normally a light you want for shooting a senior portrait.  Look at this picture below, see how the hotpots on her face are distracting?  This is classic hard light in the noon time sun.  This light does not make a great portrait because the hard light causes the senior to have her eyes squinted along with all of the hotspots on the face.

DIY Senior Laughing

Now let’s take a look at soft light. If you go outdoors and shoot pictures in the middle of an overcast day, you have seen soft light. Soft light is diffused and spread out more. It will not cause intense highlights or deep dark shadows. This is the type of light you want to shoot your senior pictures, this is the most flattering portrait light and will make your senior look stunning!  Soft light is more even.  You can tell you are in soft light when your senior does not have extra hot spots on her and in the background behind her.    Check out the picture below take in soft light.

Senior picture in soft light

It is not always possible to get a complete soft light portrait when shooting outdoors.  The most important thing is to be aware of the light and try to control it to your advantage as a portrait photographer. Learning to control the light you have available will make you become a great photographer.

So now that we know to look for soft light what is next?  You need to start being aware of the different types of light and look for them in your everyday life.  If you are on your way to work or school, take a look around and make a mental note of the type of light you see.  Take some extra time out of your day to just look around and notice the difference between soft and hard light.  Once you have this down, it will be second nature to you to find soft light when you are taking portraits.

In the next post we will discuss some simple ways to find soft light.  In the meantime, if you want to learn more about seeing light, just put in your email below and we will give you free access to our seeing light video! .  As always, we promise to keep your email safe, no games…

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Get free access to the Seeing Light video now!  This short video shows you the differences in light to help you make your photography better!  Just put in your email below and you will be taken to the video!


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    […] Improve Your Photography By Learning to See Light! […]

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