I think lighting is definitely one of the most important aspects of photography. Nailing your lighting in camera makes post processing a breeze! It took me awhile to really understand the difference between “good lighting” and “bad lighting”. I would be so frustrated with the way my photos were turning out and the way my edits looked on them simply because the lighting was not ideal. 

Lighting is such a great way to create mood in your photo. You can go for the pretty backlit look that is more light and airy. You can use direct sunlight to create a harsher feel. Or you can play with shadows to create some dimension! I love doing a mix of all of these things at my shoots so that I have variety. 

Something that I like to do when I’m shooting is MOVE AROUND. It seems pretty self explanatory, but I remember making this “discovery” a few years back. I used to always direct my subject and have them move around but I would shoot from the same place. I found that all of my photos were pretty similar and I wasn’t loving the angles or the perspective. 

I wanted to show you an example of what I mean by all of this. These test shots of Leif were taken at a studio before our clients arrived. I originally thought I liked the first angle, and wanted to shoot their first look right there…..but when I moved around, I found that I actually liked the second lighting situation the most. All three photos were taken in the exact same spot, but by moving around I was able to create three totally different looks. 

Here is an example of backlit vs direct sunlight photos. Same shoot, same model. Different moods simply because of the lighting! 

An example of shadow play:

Another way that I like to create mood is to shoot with a slower shutter speed. This allows more movement to be captured and creates some blur. Some of my favorite photos have been taken using this technique.