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Lighting Tips for taking your own indoor photoshoot with natural light

We've been a big fan of using natural lighting for our home photography session, because it not only brings out the natural tones in one's skin, it also offers its own set of surprises. Knowing how to use the available day light to your advantage, allows you to have an image that accentuates your subject's features, bringing both focus and depth to it with minimal investments on equipment.

Tip 1: Train your eyes to notice where the light streams in from at various times of the day.

Knowing where the lights stream in from, allows you to identify possible spots that would be ideal for the shoot. Window lights usually serve as a major source of lighting, for indoor shoots.

Tip 2: Determine what kind of lighting you'd want to use during your photoshoot process.

To do that, you'd need to be aware of the 3 different types of natural lights that we can use indoor.

Front Lighting: Occurs when the light is at the front of our subjects as the camera sees it. It is the easiest type of light to work with. However, do ensure that there is contrast between the highlights and shadows, to avoid a relatively flat looking image with overblown details.

Front Lights for natural light photoshoot
Front Lighting

Side Lighting: Side lighting as the name suggest, refers to the light source that is off to the side of the camera and shining across the scene. This type of lighting generally creates long shadows across image, and highlights the shape and detail of whatever we are photographing.

Side Lights for natural light photoshoot
Side Lighting

Back Lighting: Occurs when the source of light is at the back of the subject, where the camera faces the sun. This is also the most challenging type of light to shoot with because of the huge contrast. As such, it is usually hard to capture images with back lighting using a mobile phone. In the shoots that we do, the end result is usually a studio-looking shot, set against a magical light box. If you are up for this challenge, we recommend using a day curtain to diffuse the back light.

Back Lights for natural light photoshoot
Back Lighting

A point to take note is that if your room have a strong distinct color or yellow lights, it may reflect onto the subject's skin tone, making it look slightly different from what it is. This is why we always work with natural day light and wear neutral coloured clothes when taking close-up portrait shots.

Yellow light on dino's body

Tip 3: Position your subject the way you want the light to hit on it. If the light is too harsh for your liking, use a reflector or a day curtain to diffuse the light. A general rule that we follow is to always face the subject where the source of light is, to ensure the most natural shot.

Have fun putting these tips into practice!

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