Finding the Best Lighting to Shoot

Whether you’re a photographer or a model, it’s long been said that good lighting is key, so we’ve put together a few tips on how to fully capture and enhance your appearance through a professional setup.

1. Choose the type of lighting based on what you want to be reflected in your photo.

There’s a lot of options for lighting--white, fluorescent, yellow, LED--and you can switch it up and create a full studio setup. Fluorescent is the most common in studio lighting, especially because it does not overheat, so it’s used by most studio photographers. LED is a safer option than other lights because they tend to not overheat as much. At the same time, you can switch the levels of brightness and increase or decrease the intensity of light, until you find what highlights the photo area in the best way.

2. Face your Light Source

A very popular trick is to have your light source either facing you or diagonally in front of you. Either way, more times than not (with few exceptions, of course) the best lighting is captured with it directly in front of you and showcasing your features.

3. Keep Your lights at Eye-Level

If you put your lights too high or too low relative to the model, there will be a shadow cast on the upper or lower part of their face, causing an angle that doesn’t benefit either of you. The best thing you can do is keep the lights at their eye level, which centers their face and shows their natural appearance.

4. Choosing a Background

Your background should come in alignment with the mood of your shoot. If you’re looking for something professional, try for a solid color background and keep it a neutral color. If you’re doing an urban shoot, and you’re not in the city, find a place that could have the same vibe and appearance as what a city would look like. Also, be careful and stay safe during a shoot (i.e. if you are doing one in a tall grassy area, be careful of tics; if you’re doing one on train tracks, be careful of trains, etc.).

5. Take Advantage of Natural Light

If you’re looking for a unique photo, try shooting at golden hour, sunrise, or sunset. This is when the lighting is natural and beautiful, as well as can really highlight and enhance your photos.

6. Camera quality matters!

If you’re using a professional camera that you’ve had for a while, you might need to get your viewfinder hood replaced or even just clean your lens. If it’s raining or you’re shooting near sand and water, make sure you are cleaning your lens. All these small details can affect the shoot and the clarity of the outcome.

Most of all, don’t be afraid to add your own touch to the photos. If you like certain lighting, or you think a photo deserves to be black and white instead of colorful, go ahead! Have fun with it because no two people will produce the same edits as you.

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