Bite Size Tips: 3 Wonderful Lighting Conditions For Portraits

Photography is all about light and when it comes to portrait photography, you need some beautiful lighting conditions to get the perfect image. Whether using natural or artificial lighting, there are so many ways in which portraits can be lit. If you do not use artificial lights, you can use the naturally available light (try as much to avoid harsh sunlight) in the right way to create some stunning portraits.

Three Wonderful Lighting Conditions For Creating Stunning Portraits

1. Light On An Overcast Day: An overcast day can be a favorite day for portrait photographers who wish to shoot using natural light as the clouds act as a giant light diffuser, making the sunlight very soft and the colors in your image richer. You do not need to look for a shady place or a time when the sun will be low to avoid creating harsh shadows on your model. Make sure you still keep the sun behind you so that your model is uniformly illuminated.

Image by Langll

2. Backlighting: One of the most beautiful ways to light a portrait is having the model backlit using the sun (better in the golden hours), but be very careful, as you will need to practice a lot to nail these type of shots. You may have to use spot metering depending on how much light variation you have in the frame and learn to use exposure settings correctly to compensate for the backlight. Make use of exposure compensation or use a reflector to reflect off some light back to the model’s face.

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3. Diffused Window Light: Window light can be used to light up a subject to create some dramatic portraits as the side light can illuminate one side of the subject leaving the other side in little or complete darkness depending on the strength of available light inside and outside. This is a wonderful way to light your subject and if you wish to illuminate the darker side of your subject to create a different mood in the image, you can use a reflector to reflect some window light back to the model’s shadowy side.

Image by Demeter Attila

Now these tips are some of the stable tactics of solid portrait photographers, but you can take things a lot further. If you are into portrait photography and would like to understand light to create better portraits, make sure you check out Understanding Light by Photzy. It goes well beyond these basic ideas and will get you some great results.


About the author

Dahlia Ambrose

Dahlia is one of the staff writers at Light Stalking and besides writing, she also responds to customer queries, schedules social media posts and helps with product development. She has been around seven years since she took up photography seriously and her main interests are travel photography and photographing the night sky. Some of her works can be seen on 500px and Instagram. She has a postgraduate research degree in Physics, a certificate in teaching, and a diploma in business administration and customer service. Her work experiences are varied from lecturing in science and engineering at colleges in India to working in various roles for retailers  and the local authority in the UK. She is now pursuing her passion for travel and photography where she spends a couple of months on each country she visits.


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