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Friday, December 21, 2012

Photography Portrait Lighting :: Natural Window Light vs. Indoor Lighting

Apparently this will be the last blog post I ever write because the world is ending tonight! But please keep reading because I'm sure this nifty wee lighting technique will be applicable in the afterlife. ;) 

TURN OFF THE LIGHTS! That's the first thing I do when I'm shooting indoors. Even the most gorgeous natural window light is overpowered by that nasty orange indoor lighting (time & place my friends...the orange light is PERFECT for a cozy evening sipping tea and snuggling). But when you're shooting, the minute you flick the light switch, pow! It's like Cinderella... the hazy pumpkin glow is gone and everything is crisp & everyone's skin is a magically cream fairytale.
For the first 10 minutes of Kaitlyn's bridal prep at Inglewood Country Club, we shot with the indoor lights ON. Suddenly, I realised why I wasn't loving the images on the back of my camera. I raced to the light-switch (asked the Make Up Artist if she'd mind if I turned the lights off — of course not, she says — FIY: in my experience they always say 'yes'. MUA's also like working in natural light), FLICKed the switch and BOOM POW KAZAAA! The quality of the images skyrockets and I become a very happy photographer for the rest of the day. :)
The other benefit to turning off the indoor lights is the gorgeous contrast that results. As you can see in these example images, when the indoor lights are ON (photos on the left) you can see the room behind Kaitlyn. When the lights go OFF, the background disappears into darkness and now my beautiful bride is grabbing all of your attention in front of a clean, crisp, black background! Love it!