Ambient Light Outdoors

You’re  at the mercy of mother nature to be on your side to take a compelling outdoor photo. The trick is to find places where you will have successful results under a variety of conditions. Location is vital when shooting outdoor photos. Just as a window is crucial for indoor photos, you need to find a window of light for your outdoor photos as well. This might be a gap in a canopy, a space between two pillars, or a doorway. Never have the subject look directly into the sunlight! Try to create a 45 degree angle from your camera to the subject.

Using Natural Light Indoors

When taking a photo indoors, it can be quite challenging getting the light distributed correctly. The first thing you want to look for is a large widow where natural light is coming in.  It is one thing to find the window, but to have the correct angle takes practice. You will want to place the subject as close to the window as possible to insure the best quality of light. In other words the exposure level and sharpness. For a full face portrait and the subject looking straight into the camera. You want the camera position to be parallel to the window, to create a 45 degree lighting pattern. For a more dramatic look, move the camera away from the window, and into the room. This maintains shadow on the face.

How To Take Outdoor Photos

People often ask me what is the key to taking an outstanding outdoor photo.  Is it best to take them on a sunny or an overcast day?  I have a few tips that can help you get the most from your outdoor photography.

First of all when shooting on a sunny day, it is absolutely a no no to have your subjects in the direct sunlight!

This will create what i like to call hot spots or hard light  Plus people squinting doesn’t make for a very nice photo.  The first thing you will want to do is to find an area that allows your subject to keep their eyes open instead of squinting.  A shaded area is fine, as long as you have some sort of reflection device.

Find a location near a tree or fence or some sort of architecture like a barn or building.  I believe this makes the photo more interesting and pleasing to the eye.  In order to make the photo look more natural, I choose to use a reflection device that you can bounce light back partially onto the subjects face.

I say partially, because the sun would only naturally hit part of the face.  Next you will want to set your camera to the shade setting.

My customers will often say to me that, “We have a beautiful sunny day for pictures”

Well, although it can be done, I like shooting best on days that are overcast with a little sun filtering through the clouds, so it acts as a diffusion device.  I still like to use my reflector to give the photo more dimension.  Look for spots that you can position your subject in the foreground and have a beautiful field in the background.

Something like this bean field in October, the yellow leaves make for a beautiful photo.  While there are many factors in taking great photos outdoors, these few tips will help you achieve better results.

Anyone can take a picture  . . . Few can capture a moment,


Senior Photo Tips

What do I wear?  What should my hair look like?  Straight, curly, up , down?  Phew!

I have heard it all, and just let me tell you there is no easy answer.  This is why we find it so important to meet with the student prior to their photos.  This way we can get all their questions answered, and it gives us the ability to meet the client and give our input on what we feel may be good options. For those looking for tips, we find that every student is different in their needs and desires.  Some like to have their photos more casual, while others more dressy.  Some are looking for their hair styled and make up done.  Others want colors and some black and white. When trying to figure out what to wear we recommend staying away from plaids or stripes, wearing pieces like that will take away from the focus which is you.  Look for solid colors. Depending on the look you are going for will determine the outfit.  For example, if you want the kinda hippie 60’s throwback, then you may want to wear faded jeans and a peasant top.

In our studio we like have the option of a fan blowing to give the hair and image a sense of movement.  It creates a distinct look and feel.

Hair styles depend a lot on the shape of your face.  If your face is rounder, then something sleek might be best for you.  If your face is thinner, then go with a style that gives your face a little width.  Our 27 years of experience in the beauty business will help guide you on the right style.

If you able to use props, by all means use them if you choose.  Personally, I feel it can take away from the photo.  Once I had a gentleman wear a special bracelet that his little sister made for him, that was cool.

“Having a bowling ball in the photo, well, not so much”


Anyone can take a picture . . . few can capture a moment,


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