Reflections : Maximizing Indoor Lighting

Photography

Okay, so after yesterday’s lengthy blog post (I know some of you were thinking, you’re killing me, Smalls!…$10 itunes gift card to the first person who can name that movie), I decided to keep this post short and sweet. However, seeing how I’ve already gone on one tangent in the first sentence, I’m not sure if I can actually make it happen.

One of the great things about hosting a photography workshop is I get to do it with JD. He’s actually the person who does everything…I simply show up and talk (which is something I’m way good at…duh). JD also shoots behind-the-scene photos, so I thought I’d snag a few and talk about the photo exif data and how we worked with the light, both indoors and outdoors.

Whenever I start a photo shoot for a workshop, I set up the couple, explain what I do, photograph the subjects, then step back for questions or allow the students to practice given the same set up. Here I’m standing about four feet from my subjects, just in front of the window so light from my right side doesn’t become a distraction in my frame…

50mm f/1.2 1/200 250 ISO

Here I’m explaining how I photograph a groom, which can sometimes be difficult since guys are less likely to be comfortable/work it for my camera than a bride. I strategically placed Dan at the edge of the window frame so it could illuminate his face, but also in a way that there wouldn’t be too much light behind him, which may cause distraction and less depth of field…

50mm f/1.2 1/250 320 ISO

I stood at the opposite edge of the window (as you can see from the light on my arms and shirt), so I wouldn’t block the window light from Dan’s face…

I then positioned Dan and Rachel on a couch, but the windows (our natural light source) was behind them, so I coached them into turning their faces outward, instead of into each other, causing deeper shadows, and angling Dan’s face to the light as much as possible…

50mm f/2.0 1/125 320 ISO

While the couple sat in virtually the same position, I asked Rachel to look at my camera…but, specifically, to sit behind Dan’s face, closer to the light source (the windows to the right of the frame), so the illumination was natural and soft…

85mm f/1.2 1/160 320 ISO

We went outside for a bit and while it was slightly overcast, the day was still bright. I pulled the couple just out from under the shade of the tree, then directed them to walk toward me…

50mm f/2.8 1/500 100 ISO

The best part of the day was learning from the attendees. They all brought their personal style and flair, so watching them work their magic with the models was fun and exciting…I am pretty sure we all walked away stronger photographers because of our interactions. I hope this helps you, too, in one way or another!

Happy Thursday!