If I didn’t start with lighting I’d be steering you in the wrong direction. Lighting is literally everything and because I’ve been traveling and couldn’t carry around lighting equipment I learned how to rely on that good ol natural light!
Here are a few lighting tips:
(1) Find a good window. Check on how the sun comes in at different times of the day. At 10am is the sun BLASTING in? “Blasting in” is not the light you want to work with. WHY? Because blasting in light creates very harsh shadows on your face.
FIX: Take a white or cream sheet and hang it over the window so it diffuses the light, this creates GREAT light!
Figure out what time the sun comes in nice and easy and lights up your face.
(2) Eye level Keep the camera at eye level (or just slightly higher) between you and the light (without casting a camera shadow on your face).
(1) Clean up your background. You don’t want it looking super dark, or super dirty. If you have the lens for bokha, you don’t have to worry about the background as much. If you have a designated spot in your house you can put cute little things on the wall behind you. But if you don't sweat it, just make sure it's picked up a bit.
(2) Don't sit too close to a wall you want some depth between you and the wall behind you. Otherwise, it seems like you’re in a very small room just relaxing and leaning up against the wall.
Here are some of my examples:
PS I tried to get you the best snapshots for you… you're welcome
Well lit faces: The first and the second photo are in the same room. The first, I'm using my camera with 35mm lens, the other using my iPhone. Notice in both, all faces are well lit from a window, we are away from the wall and the background is either blurred or clear.
Bokha- The next two photos are in different rooms, again the first is with the 35mm lens, the second is not.
I am well lit (with a window), the background is relatively clean and I'm away from the wall.
Chapter 6: Homework
1. Find a spot with good lighting, test it at different times during the day
2. If you don't have a good window, consider investing in some lighting
3. Sit away from a wall to create some depth