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Hello and welcome to the KLP blog! My name is Kelsie and I'm a wedding & portrait photographer based in Columbus, Ohio. Grab a cup of coffee (or in my case - a chai latte), a glass of wine or a bottle of coke and enjoy viewing my latest work, browsing resources for brides and photographers, and getting a little peek into my life.

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May 30, 2017

Tips for choosing the best light

One of the most challenging aspects of photography to master is different lighting situations. As a natural light photographer, you need to be able to choose different locations based on the best lighting scenarios. There are quite a few different types of lighting situations to consider when choosing the best light to pose you clients in.

  1. I always recommend looking for open shade. This basically means that your subjects are in completely the shade, but when you look up toward the sky, you can clearly see the sky with nothing obstructing your view. A few examples may be in front of a building or by the opening of a forest.
  2. Look for light that is not spotty. In order to find this, it’s best to look at the shadows on the ground. If the shadows are speckled, I recommend either finding another location, or turning your subjects around so the light that is poking through is hitting their backs. (Bonus tip: If you are photographing your subjects and they still seem to have a little bit of spotty light on their faces, ask them to lean forward ever so slightly, and that will make all the difference!)
  3. Finally, look for natural reflectors that will reflect nice fill light into your clients’ faces. This natural reflector could be a white or neutral covered wall, a sidewalk, gravel road, etc. These reflectors will help to add in extra fill light to the front of your subjects, even if your subjects are not in the shade.

While shooting in ope shade is ideal for my style of photography, that doesn’t mean that there will be open shade everywhere I go! If there isn’t any open shade, remember to face your subjects so that the sun is hitting their backs and have them lean forward slightly so there’s not spotty light on their front/faces. I challenge you to scout your locations a little bit more focused on the best lighting situations rather than the prettiest backgrounds. While a really pretty background and a perfecting lighting scenario is ideal, it doesn’t always happen. I will choose better light over a slightly better location every time, because I know that images will be more consistent with my style and of course, still beautiful regardless of the background.

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