As a photographer, one of the biggest tasks I have is to “dance with the light” …after all photography is about two things. 1. capturing a moment in time and 2. light and the way it affects a subject. For me, light has such an impact on the images…it’s sets the mood…it helps to define what emotions I want to portray with my image.
Light is also very tricky to deal with. When I go to a session, I always scope out my light source, is it direct, is it filtered (cloudy) will I have harsh shadows or can I play with the light source to create some fun images.
A lot of this has to do with your style as a photographer. Do you like more dramatic images that have a harsher light source that creates dramatic shadows or do you like bright light that illuminates your subject and gives a warm haze?
Something my clients always tell me is that they love the “soft light” feel of my images. This is where I dance with the light…and how do I do that?
- I always expose to my clients (subjects) face. It’s very hard to get a properly exposed subject and properly exposed sky/background when its bright.
- I take the sun out of the equation. I always…yes ALWAYS shoot 1 hour before sunset, it’s when the light is the best, when we as photographers have the most leeway with it and when you can get the beautiful affects the sun gives without the harshness of it’s shadows
- I embrace cloudy days. Colors are richer, you often have wider eyes (especially with children) it’s easier to expose both the sky/background and the subject at the same time. So don’t rule it out!
- I shoot “wide open” (meaning a lower f/stop) this allows the light to filter in my backgrounds and therefore creates beautiful sparkles. (you will see below in the trees)
- I shoot in all different positions and vantage points so that I get beautiful catch lights (sparkles in their eyes) back lighting, sun flares and soft hazes…that all comes from where I stand in correlation to where the sun is.
- I watch very carefully for hot spots and lines on faces…I would hate to ruin a beautiful shot with some sun shinning through the trees and creating a hot spot on my clients face.
- I watch my white balance so that my images are not “too” warm
- In post processing, I make sure to adjust the “levels” to ad enough darkness into my image so that they are still crips and sharp even though they are soft.
One of the reasons that I LOVE my orchard sessions is that they are light filled…and with the blossoms, the light enters and just makes them sparkle, but without loosing the color. This was my first time photographing this beautiful family but what fun! I am so in love with their images…as I edited them, I was a little jealous, because I want pictures like these of my family! Next year, I’m vowing to do my own family’s orchard session. Until then, I get to look at these beautiful people and don’t be suprised if one of these end up in my studio window really soon! Thank you so much B family for allowing me to work with you! You are beautiful!