We professional photographers have lots of tools in our bag of tricks. We spend most of our hard earned money buying all sorts of things for the sole purpose of making you look good. There is one tool that, used properly, can make us look like geniuses because it makes you or your children look incredible. I’m going to tell what it is. Ready? A window. Yep, a window. You probably thought I was going to say some sort of new electronic gizmo from Japan, right?
You see, photography is all about light, and some of the most beautiful light in the whole universe comes right through regular old everyday windows. Most everybody has them. You probably have some in your house. This light is so beautiful that pros buy buildings specifically for the windows. They build their studios around the windows. There are even companies that help design studios that create natural looking fake window light. I have two huge windows in my studio.
So what’s the big deal about window light? Look at this photo. While shooting portraits at a family reunion, I was just passing by and saw these little ones looking so innocent and so peaceful… and they had this gorgeous light from the window. Nothing but window light. The kids have beautiful soft lighting on the bright side and just enough light wrapping around to fill in the dark side. It looks very natural, because it is. No red eye. No weird shadows. No harsh flash. They aren’t squinting because there is no bright light in their eyes. I just “pointed and shooted” just like you do. I can use every other tool in my bag of tricks and not make light any prettier than this. It’s wonderful light instantly.
Keep an eye out for great shots like this all set up for you. When in doubt about where to photograph your aunt from Minneapolis or your new gecko or even your son or daughter, put them next to a window with a dark background and prepare to be a genius yourself!
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