The Key to Great Lighting in Photography | Northern Virginia Photographer


I believe it’s really important to educate my clients on photography, so we can work together to get beautiful photos! Today, I’m letting you in on a secret in photography and that is the importance of natural lighting!

Why is Lighting Important

Lighting is important in photography because photographers are trying to paint their clients with light. Photographers don’t want uneven light on their clients because you’ll be able to spot the awkward lighting in photos. This messes up the beauty of the photo. By trying to paint clients with light photographers are making sure the lighting is soft and even.

How to Find Soft Light

There are many ways photographers find great lighting, but one technique is to look for “open shade.” Open shade is where we can look up and see the sky, but not the harsh sun. This could be because there’s an overcast or the sun could be blocked by things in the environment, such as trees or buildings.

Here is an example of open shade on an overcast day.

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Here is an example of open shade when the sun is blocked by the environment. At this location the sun was blocked by the buildings in Georgetown.

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As you can see in the photos, open shade is great because it gave us soft and even light in the entire picture.

How to Find Soft Light in Indoor Sessions

What if you would like to have an in-home session, like a newborn session? How would you find great light indoors?

For indoor sessions the secret is window lighting! Photographers love window light because it gives us natural light!

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This was taken on a cold February day, so there was no chance we could go outside. But the family had this great setup by the window, and I knew the window light would give us soft and even light just as if we were in open shade.

Take Aways:

  • One of the goals for a photography session is to find soft even natural light!
  • Open shade is great for outdoor sessions because it gives soft lighting throughout your photos! Open shade is when the sun is blocked by overcast or elements in the environment.
  • If you’re having an in-home session pick a room with great window light. Window lighting gives you natural light, just like if you were outside in open shade.



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