{photography tip #10} Catch the Light

Well, you know that I am all about using natural light and not a flash with my photography.  So I thought I would expand a little more about capturing your subject with the best light possible.  I have shared about shooting during the “golden hour” - one hour after sunrise and one hour before sunset.  I would also expand that to shooting just after the sun has set.  I have also recommended shooting under shade, instead of under the bright light of the sun.  The next step is to think about the direction of your light.  One of the most important steps is finding the “catch light.”  The catch light is the highlight of a light source reflected off the eye.

In this image, I used the large window behind me to create the catch light in his eyes.  Large windows and big bright skies are great sources to create catch lights.  The light source can be directly behind you, or from the side which can create more drama or mood to the image.  I recently had a perfect lighting scenario during a maternity photo session and included examples of different angle light sources.  

A good way to practice is to look for the light.  Have your subject turn slowly in a circle and watch the light in the eyes first.  Once you find the catch light in their eyes, step back and check for how the light falls on the rest of the subject.  Make sure there aren’t sun spots or very dark shadows hiting their faces. Happy shooting!!