Light is an element that makes any kind of photography possible and occasionally feels like the bane to the existence of photographers. No matter whether you are brand new to the world of photography or have been a talented and professional photographer in documenting great pictures, it is indeed always a great idea to brush up on some of the most popular, versatile, and commonly used lighting scenarios in the world of photography. Being a photographer, what constitutes a good or bad light will vary depending on the style of your photography, and then the event you are photographing. In short, there is no universally perfect light for every different scenario. So, if you are an experienced photographer, the following article will surely help you refresh your understanding of some common workarounds to the various challenges that photographers usually come across while working in different lighting conditions. But if you are a beginning photographer, be prepared to have some fun as learning to read and manipulate light to bring out the best professional photographs will be quite a revelation. While taking in the tips throughout this article, consider updating your online photographer portfolio so that your potential future clients and all the collaborators can see all of your amazing and incredible photography work in one convenient place. So, let’s just get started!

Finding Easy Light for the Best Photos

If you have been hired to document a formal photography session within a limited time frame and your client wants incredible photos, you surely need to have a place with “easy light” to get the formal professional photography session completed within the time frame. Here are some of the great ways that will help you find “easy light” to get through it without much hassle.

  • Window Light

Window light is indeed an excellent and readily available light source that is nothing but perfect for any kind of professional portrait, especially for formal portraits. The soft and gentle illumination lent by natural light through the window is actually very flattering, and it is definitely possible for professional photographers to achieve a fantastic professional result with minimal equipment and in less time frame.

  • Natural Light

Capturing photographs in natural light is always a delight for all types of photographers. Most practicing photographers prefer to use natural light for photography sessions when it is at all available to them, as natural light gives photographers the chance to get less confused with the lighting techniques. While capturing photos in natural light, photographers don’t need to figure out ways to bring any kind of artificial light into the scene in order to produce great pictures.

While shooting in the natural light especially in the great outdoors, the early afternoon or late morning is indeed an ideal time to get playful with natural light for your professional photography. During this time of the day, you will be able to find the sun starting to create striking shadows that will add more character and drama to photographs captured by you. If you are photographing during this time, you will be able to see the complete shape of your shadow on the ground, you are standing in the direct light.

And, lastly, the best time of the day to take professional portraits while using the stunning glow offered by natural light is a couple of hours after sunrise and a few hours before the lovely sunset. Within this time frame, the photographs will the stunning and mesmerizing as, during this time of the day, the entire setting is just completely magical.

  • Golden Hour Light

When it comes to easy light, there is no better light than the golden hour light. If we talk about photographers and their love for golden hour lighting, almost every professional photographer will agree that photography becomes much more interesting during the time when the sun is setting. The lighting during the golden hour is very soft and flattering, and also offers an easy and stress-free photography experience to photographers and clients too. Photographers don’t have to struggle to capture photos during this time of the day as the subjects are being directly lit by the light which is far easier to do as it is not as blinding. For portrait subjects, especially formal portraits, the golden hour is the best time to work – and even for other types of photography. A landscape shot with an intense sunset is definitely more captivating than most.

Embracing Harsh Light in the Best Possible Way

There are ways to capture incredible professional portraits in easy light, there is something that photographers know-harsh light. Professional photographers still know all the tips and tricks to embrace harsh light while photographing. Being a photographer, if you find yourself having to shoot in harsh light, and struggle to get great shots, then here are some tips to use that harsh light in your favor, so that your captured photos turn out mind-blowing!

  • Slow Down for A Moment

Slowing down for a while and letting yourself tune with the surroundings is one of the good practices in general and depending on your photographic goals as it is indeed a crucial step in responding to the moments in a scene that calls out to YOU! Take some time to observe and find the best angle to capture the best of shots while embracing the harsh light in the best possible way.

  • Try Shooting in Dappled Light

Being a photographer, shooting in dappled light is indeed a cool way for you to accentuate certain elements in your photographs. The main focus is to expose the highlights in the frame while letting the shadows of the surrounding objects like trees, leaves, and other structures create a perfect frame for you to capture. Though Dappled light is great and incredible to captured shadowed portraits, you also need to pay close attention to the light on your subjects face. To bring out the facial features of your subject you may need a reflector or need to work around with some off-camera lighting to fill in the shadows on your subject’s faces and gracefully bring out your subject’s facial expressions and features!

  • Keep Shadows As the Main Subject of Your Photograph

All you have to do is lookout for the moments where your subject is casting a shadow on something, and also compose for the shadows. Keep your focus on the shadow in such instances, while leaving your subject slightly out of the focus for great effects in all your photographs.

  • Try Shooting Through Various Objects

This is one of the techniques that photographers love using. This kind of photography offers the best possible ways to embrace the harsh light. Photographing through various objects offers an extra layer of interest for the viewer.

  • Best Time to Convert to Black and White

Shooting during the harsh light offers great possibilities to photographers to convert the image into black and white in post. By doing this, the contrasts between the light and dark areas will be enhanced in the best and most beautiful way! If you ask any photographer, all they have to say is a good black and white photograph features a strong contrast between the subject and the background, as it is usually abundant in the midday harsh light.

Reception Lighting on the Fly

Wedding reception lighting is where photographers struggle the most. The pressure to capture mind-blowing wedding photos under not-so-suitable lighting is indeed a task for photographers.

The chaos of the dance floor mixed with low-lighting wedding photography conditions makes for a constant struggle for wedding photographers and also for wedding videographers. Being a wedding photographer there are times when you have walked into the reception area and you can barely see your hands in front of you. You immediately know that the lighting is going to be a challenge in capturing wedding photos under such a setting. No worries! You pull out those trusty on-camera lights and get to work! Here are a few ideas to get you started.

  • Diffused On-Camera Can Also Work

Just like the raw on-camera flash, this photography method is used to soften the light to give a more appealing look to the photographs.

  • On-Camera Bounce Flash

The on-camera bounce flash technique includes pointing your on-camera Speedlight up and away from your subject. The idea here is to illuminate the ceiling and have the reflected flash be the light on your subject to add light to the photographs.

Outdoor lighting with Off Camera Lights

Whether you just need a “pop” of light, or it’s nearly dark, here are some great ideas for lighting your Bridal party/Family photos while shooting outdoors with off-camera lights.

Evey pro photography and videography knows every and best alternative lighting mixed with natural light is always a great option when shooting in outdoor lighting with off-camera light. Photographers know that during such kinds of scenarios, a flash, especially an off-camera one, automatically comes in handy when the natural light becomes challenging to work with in order to get great photos. When shooting an outdoor family photo session or a bridal party session, the light is coming from all directions creating a lighting pattern on everyone’s face. The direction of the natural light will determine where the shadow is going to fall. And many a time it is mistakenly assumed that a photographer does not want any shadows on the face in a portrait. Well, that is not absolutely correct, depending on the photographer’s photography style, they might want shadows or might not. Whatever you as a photographer choose to do with the portraits you clicked, all you need to do is take care of the harshness of the quality of light and where they fall. To bring in the best control and to maintain the balance, off-camera lights come into action.

While shooting in the outdoors if the portraits captured by you have some natural light but not at an angle that you wanted in order to have flattering photos, you can use flash off to camera in order to perfectly match the direction the daylight is coming so that it blends more naturally and not look like “flashes” or artificial light!

Time to Bring in Light in a Different Way- Reflectors

No time for OCF? No worries! A reflector is a great tool to make sure you’re using that available lighting to its potential. It is a source of artificial lighting. There are endless ways you can use reflectors indoors as well as outdoors photography sessions. Here are some simple and also great ways to use reflectors to produce some really great photos for your clients to love!

  • Use Reflectors to Be Light Fillers

If you are shooting around midday, especially outdoors, and the harsh sun is creating shadows under your subject’s nose, eyes, and chin, reflectors come in the action. Even if you are shooting in the shade like indoors or on a cloudy day, a reflector will surely help you to alleviate darker shadows and bring out the best in the photographs.

  • Can Also be Used As a Main Source of Light

Using reflectors as a main source of light is indeed a great way to wow your clients. If you are shooting when the sun is low in the sky, all you have to do is position your subject with the light hitting them from behind, and then use a reflector to bounce the light into their face to bring out the best of your client’s facial features.

  • Use Reflectors to Block the Light

If your client wants you to shoot on a sunny midday, what if you find a stunning, shady light, except for a pesky sunbeam that gracefully finds its way through the leaves? Then what will you do? If that is the case, then you don’t need to make any kind of adjustments, all you can do is bring in the reflectors, as it helps you to block out the light and allow you to capture a great shot.

Summing everything up! There are so many types of lighting scenarios in the world of photography. Every lightning scenario creates different effects and works differently for every photographer. It takes time and patience to figure out what works best for you.

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