“Does he need to scoot back in the shade?” she asked.
I knew what she meant, with sun and shadows it can be a nightmare for a portrait. But at 7 am, I was feeling this shoot and I replied, “No, let’s actually have him stand right in the sun and see what we get. I am not afraid of direct sun.”
My client looked at me and was totally down for the trial. Then this magic happened. It looks like I just transported a spot light right on him – we thank God for this ray of light. He then purchased several of these photos from this session to use for his marketing.
In the years I’ve been photographing, I’ve noticed that I don’t run for the shade. Sometimes, I say, face the sun. Sometimes, I myself, as a blogger, face the sun for shots. And most times, I don’t even think about the direction of the sun at all, I care more about the background.
I had posted a preview of this shot above with the caption, “I’m not afraid of direct sun,” on Instagram Stories and a fellow photographer friend replied she loved it and she felt the same. I responded how I remembered starting out as a photographer that I believed everyone had to face their shadow (which also often created blown out skies) and I said the longer I’ve been doing this, the more I love playing with light. She agreed and replied, “As photographers, we should be masters of light.” I loved that.
She replied, “As photographers, we should be masters of light.” I loved that.
I love shadows cutting across faces. I love light illuminating, or the absence of it creating a mood. I remember going to a lighting workshop about studio lighting about 8 years ago and was amazing by butterfly lighting.
And I just wanted to show you this shot to encourage you to break whatever rules you have stuck in your head about lighting, and try something different. Try direct light in photos. Use light to make a subject softer, bolder, and even tougher. I just want a photo to have feeling, and we can manipulate light in so many ways to achieve that look.
Here is the same shot with the shadows a bit lighter to ensure the real estate agency had a bit of light on it –
This was taken with an 85mm 1.4 lens (see my equipment here). I also don’t know if I can take much credit for any of this lighting because I didn’t provide it. I just told my client to stand in the sun. That’s really all it takes.
This shot below is one of my favorites from this year – I cannot imagine backlighting this and blowing out those gorgeous blue skies. And while I know everyone edits different for their own artistic taste, I wanted genuine vibrant true to life colors. See the entire wedding here.
Editing is such a personal thing. I love how it differs. I can admire the way others edit and sometimes I wish I could edit like that but for the photos I create, I just can’t do it to my photos – but boy do I admire how they can. Strange?
Kind of like IG editing, I dig the grungy look, I really do. But to any of my photos I feel like I just ruined it. LOL. It’s also probably the way I shoot too.
Anyway, it’s been a while since I’ve blogged about my photography work. I’ve been doing a few shots for my favorite clients, Phoenix Home & Garden and loving the opportunities I have on occasion to get a little creative and step out of the box.
And if you’re ever wondering if you need to go trendy or switch up with your editing, I have a little personal story to share.
My editing is clean, pretty true to life, magazine typical. I think I have changed to this type of editing because of my constant work with commercial portrait photography and shooting for editorial. They want it clean, no peachy tones or dark moody filters (which again, I still think is rad). So I’ve stuck with it, as this editing style has become not only a habit, but a style I gravitate toward for photography work and my blog.
I have noticed brands I work with for the blog and social media have taken notice of that. While I think if I changed up my style my account might grow, brands have commented that my photography stye is appreciated and the brands use these images for their social media platforms. That has really encouraged me when I’m wondering if I’m trendy enough or not. My bank account says I’m doing OK and my creative spirit says I’m happy.
So do what makes you happy and you’ll gain the attention of the right client.
I think there are too many do’s and don’ts out there that people share that can discourage you and your spirit. Don’t listen to them. Do what feels right, whether it’s a hobby or a profession, life is not about all these rules, or necessarily doing what everyone else is doing (I’m clearly not editing like the rest of IG), lighting, overly legal stuff (I mean pay your taxes though, lol) and just work with your heart. Continue to learn from those that inspire you and learn new techniques.
We all evolve creatively and as people as time goes on and you get decide what works for you. Don’t ever stop trying new things. ♡