You want to know the secret to clean, consistent, beautiful portraits every time we shoot? It's the light!
Starting out, I used to think the secret was a location - a pretty picket fence or tree. The backgrounds were always pretty but the light on our clients wasn't consistently gorgeous every time.
Now, instead of location, I'm looking for beautiful light!
So, with that, here’s our formula for how to find the right light every where we shoot.
1. Soft, Even Light from Head-to-Toe
We like our subject’s entire body to be evenly exposed. No harsh light. No hot spots. No split lighting. We want one consistent exposure from head to toe (if you’re shooting from head to toe!).
2. Soft, Even Light in the Background
We want the background to enhance the shot, not distract from it. So we need the light in the background to match the light on our subject.
3. Backlighting & Great Location (Our two favorite “bonus” items!)
If we can keep them with even light from head to toe, matching light in the background AND backlight them (where the back of their heads are rim lit) that’s our absolutely favorite combination of light! If we can find our two lighting priorities AND THEN a pretty background, then we’re in photographer heaven! But the most important thing to remember is a “pretty background” is only pretty if the light is right!