Lighting | Summer Photo Challenge08.13.12

Lighting…this is what it is all about.  Recording light.  It is probably the lesson that I should have started with but wanted you to begin by looking at what was in your photo and how you were going to compose first.  So now we are going to look at lighting a subject (using natural light).  Of course this is a huge subject and there are so many factors that affect lighting – from time of day (colour and intensity), to weather/available shade to direction of the light.  I am mostly going to focus on direction of light for this post and am only going to talk about the sun as I am not a fan of pop-up flash.

Front lighting

Front lighting seems the most obvious way for people to pose themselves when they are outside.  Unfortunately this will typically result in unattractive shadows under the eyes (producing a tired look to the eyes)if the sun is too high, flat lighting if the sun is lower (showing no form to the face and still tired eyes as depicted here) and it will also cause your subject to squint (as shown here).

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Side lighting

Side lighting can be gorgeous depending on the angle and mood of the photo that you are looking for.  It will typically produce a more dramatic look as the light moves more towards the side of the head but it can create shadows and in turn, depth to your images.  Highlighting the contours of the face.  You will need to watch the way the shadows fall across your subject’s face and particularly the eyes.  You still typically want to maintain catch lights (the light reflecting back in the eyes – the twinkle) in both eyes unless you are going for an extremely dramatic look.  I am using this picture to show more of the shadowing and contouring.

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Here you will see that the light from the window is hitting at about 30-45 degrees to the baby to give some depth to his face but maintain the catch lights in his eyes.

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Back lighting

Often photographers will turn their subjects away from the sun.  This helps to eliminate squinting and distracting shadows.  It can be tricky though so that you do not get too much lens flare (unless that is what you are going for) and you want to get the correct exposure on your subject’s face without completely blowing out the background (another lesson).  Back lighting does add nice rim lighting to your subjects hair and shoulders – making them appear angelic:).  It can also be used very effectively for silhouettes.

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If you must shoot mid day in the harshest light and you do not want to worry about how the light is hitting the subject too much, try to place them in the shade.

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I hope that this helps.  Please feel free to ask questions if I have not explained something clearly.

Have fun playing with light!

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What a difference a year makes05.29.12

Here he is was a year ago being smooched by his puppy…

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and here he was a couple of weeks ago at a year being smooched by his very loving parents:)

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Tender moment | Calgary Newborn Photographer05.29.12

I love this tender moment captured of a new mom and her baby over the Mother’s Day weekend. More to come:)

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Cherry Four | Calgary Children's Photographer and Boutique05.23.12

As a small business owner I have always had great respect for companies that offer fantastic, professional advice and service.  I am very fortunate to get to work with one such company in Calgary – Cherry Four (a children’s boutique in Kensington).  If you do not already know Cherry Four and Fev, you need to:)  Fev has owned and operated Cherry Four since 2001, first with the location in Inglewood now relocated to Kensington.  Fev and her staff’s level of client care goes above and beyond.  I am not only a business acquaintance but also a happy customer.  I was in her shop to work on some art for her on my last trip and needed a gift for a friend’s son.  I knew she would have the perfect ideas and so I got something from her and brought it the other way across the border – I might be one of the only shoppers that takes things that way over the border:)

While I was there Fev presented me with a couple of things, an awesome new Fat Boy bean bag ottoman…in Tot Shots blue and she had a gorgeous little diaper cover for me.  She had remembered that I had asked about diaper covers during one of our conversations and that I could not find anything different and that I really liked online.  Fev had exactly what I was looking for made for me!  It was awesome – I used it the next day at a baby shoot I had.  Fev’s ability to hear people and figure out what they need is amazing and I am sure is one of the main reasons that she has had one of the longest running children’s boutiques in Calgary and is as successful as she is.  Her down-to-earth and friendly approach to business is so completely inspiring to this business owner and customer of hers!  Here is a shot of the first model to use it – okay, so the diaper cover is in the background…the expression is awesome:)

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6 months | Calgary Baby Photographer05.09.12

This is the third session in a Watch Me Grow package with this family.  We decided to move out of the studio this time and into their home to get some of their casual family moments captured.  We had the music playing and we were dancing (I might have been singing and should not have been:).  I love all of the little guy’s expressions and unique features (love the birth mark on his left arm).  Had to capture his expression as he was anticipating getting tickled by dad!  Getting the opportunity to capture these things for clients makes me SOOOO happy.  I ADORE my job!  Thank you!

I am back in Calgary tomorrow to work with some special moms this weekend!  Can’t wait!

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