Finding Light

Empowering our little one is, in my opinion, the most important part of the photographic process. Therefore please read “Let Them Be Wild and Other Tips” before proceeding. Now that you’re caught up here are some more tips from a CT family photographer!

Have you taken a photo that was too blurry or too dark? It’s a common problem! When we photograph our children it’s good to find a light source that works for us. Knowing what light is available will make you a better story teller and help you focus!

What is a light source?

A light source can be a window, the glow off your child’s tablet or a lamp. Light can help make focusing easier! When you’re at a children’s museum you’ll notice large wall to ceiling glass. This will brighten up the entire room! It’s always good, for photos, to have your child play next to a secured window.

Child at Boston Aquarium large windows
(CT Family Photographer) Boston Aquarium, Sony A7RIII 35MM ISO 320, F1.4, 1/640th s

Here is a photograph on my son at the Boston Aquarium–he loves it so much that we ended up getting a membership! The light is coming from the large windows on the right. I have him positioned with the penguins and metered my camera for his face. The closer your child is to the window, the brighter the image.

Directional Light

You can create striking portraits of your little one by having them face the light. Here is light coming from our living room window. Cole was fascinated by the birds. This light allows for a moodier image which was perfect for April showers.

Child looking out the window directional light
(CT Family Photographer) West Hartford, CT Nikon D5 35MM ISO 800, F2.8, 1/500th s

Golden Hour

Golden Hour is the time right before sunrise or sunset. The light is warm, diffused, and directional! It allows for magical images of your little one. The portraits can feel like a warm and fuzzy memory. Because of this, I love taking snuggle photos at this time.

Child and Uncle at Golden Hour
(CT Family Photographer) Westmoor Park in West Hartford, CT Nikon D5 24MM ISO 120, F1.4, 1/1250th s

Cole and his Uncle Jason. This portrait was taken during an unplanned photo session of Bill and Yoek. They were visiting the East Coast and stopped in CT for dinner and to pick up their heirloom wedding album. While the lovely couple was enjoying their first Fall, Cole was crying! I just loved how his uncle tried to comfort him.

When the sun isn’t an option

Ask yourself what light sources are near you? When I’m commissioned to take a portrait I’ll have my Profoto Strobes, speedlights, a plethora of light modifiers, and an assistant. However, I don’t have the same luxury when taking snapshots of my family when I’m inspired. Instead I Macgyver what’s available. That could be a lamp, an IPAD, or the flashlight of my wife’s phone. This trick comes in extra handy when my son is sleeping peacefully.

Child sleeping at hotel lamp
(CT Family Photographer) Nikon D5 85MM ISO 3200, F1.8, 1/160th s

Cole spent the day joyfully adventuring and was so tired, he knocked out before we got to the hotel. For this portrait, I turned off every light except the small bedside lamp closest to his face. This allowed me to create a peaceful image of him with Fox and Dum-Dum.

What stuff animal can’t your child live without?

We hope these lighting tips help make your snapshots better!

These are the tools I use when photographing my little one around the house! The tips here can be applied with any camera you have. We’ll go more in depth in the following weeks on light, composition, and mood. Would you like to see a blog on traveling with your child or maybe how to take better photos at a museum? Let us know what you have troubles with and we can offer more tips from a CT Family Photographer.

Thank you for reading!

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