The best tip I could share on creating better photos is......using LIGHT (surprise!). I say it ALL the time, but lighting is the most important element when it comes to producing great photographs. Knowing how to use light will take your photography to the next level. Even if you don’t have the latest top-of-the-line camera (or even if you’re shooting with an iPhone), awesome lighting can make up for that! Today I'm sharing some tips on shooting in available and outdoor natural light.
Shooting indoors is sometimes necessary. The weather doesn’t always cooperate, new babies may be better off kept inside, or maybe you’re just trying to capture what’s going on in the moment. The most important aspect to shooting indoors is knowing where the windows are and positioning your subject where there is sufficient light.
Make sure you turn off all of the indoor lights; the mix of natural and artificial light can really mess with the white balance. Spaces like the living room and kitchen usually have a decent amount of natural light to work with but if you want to shoot in a room with less light, just position your subject(s) close to the available window(s).
The most ideal time to shoot in natural light is when the sun is lower in the sky (mornings and afternoons/evenings). When shooting in the afternoon or evening, use the soft light to your advantage. Positioning your subject with their back to the sun with a wide open aperture creates beautiful backlit photos. Midday sun is way too harsh; it creates unattractive shadows under the eyes and nose and will cause your subject to squint. You won’t always have an ideal lighting situation when you are taking photographs - don’t be afraid to reposition your subject or change your angle.
If you can’t move to the shade, another option is to use a reflector. Reflectors are usually a white, gold, or silver disc that an assistant or subject holds to reflect light back onto the face and eliminate shadows. There is no need to use a man made reflector if you can find a natural one. The best natural reflector is a neutral sidewalk, wall, or building. It works the same way as the man made reflector; position them so that the sidewalk or building is bouncing light back towards them.
The next time you are out shooting, keep these things in mind. It may take some practice, but you will definitely see an improvement in your photos if you figure out how to properly use light. So go get out there!