Lighting tips with A.W. Photography

by - Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Today I'd love to introduce you to Alexandra, the lady behind A.W. Photography. She's here today to share with you lovelies a few tips on lighting and how to work with it in almost every situation. Hopefully you'll leave here with some notes to take out into real life for your next photographic capture. Ready, set, GO!

Indoor Lighting:
It took me a long time to warm up to taking photos indoors. It's not easy - especially if you grew up in a generation of disposable film cameras like me, and associate indoor photography with dark, grainy, blurry messes. These two photos were taken indoors, and no, they were not taken in a studio. They were actually taken inside my bathroom! Even though it only has one small window, that daylight mixed in with the white walls and tile created this soft lighting effect. Also, if you have a camera with an adjustable ISO, make sure you get it up to at least 800 or 1600 if possible - you'll see a huge improvement in the detail that shows in your low-light photos. If you're working with a camera that doesn't allow ISO adjustment, just get yourself near a window or two, and you'll be good to go!
Shadow Light:
Taking a photo in a shadow seems like a bad idea - why not just use a brighter location? Having your subject in an evenly shadowed area allows you to stay away from the harsh contrast of broad daylight. These two photos were taken by a creek that is canopied by shadows, and I loved the results.
Night Light:
I'm going to be honest - I kind of dread taking photos at night. It takes a lot more strategy than daylight photos do, and can take quite a bit of trial and error. My advice? Don't plan to take a photo at nighttime until you've had the chance to mess around with your camera settings and do some test runs a few times. As with indoor-lit photos, make sure your ISO is up at it's highest, and - bring a tripod. I never use a tripod, but if you're going to be taking a photo at night, you need one. The photo on the right was taken with my headlights used as lighting, on the top of a parking structure, and is one of the only nighttime photos I'm truly satisfied with.
Sunset Light:
I'm going to close this with my favorite type of lighting - sunset light. No matter the time of year, I adore the warm glow that sunset light can cast. If you're new to shooting at dusk, my advice: take a friend, have them stand with the sun to their back, and let just a little bit of the sun's glow peek through. [This is something I can't explain well - just please try it yourself and see the magic.] It will take a few tries, but the results will always be magical :)

You can find me at, where I share my work, as well as behind-the-scenes features and my personal musings. [And quite a few photos of my Border Collie, Bonny.] I'd love to hear how these worked for you, and if you have any questions!



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  1. Great tips! Shooting indoors is definitely something that took me a LONG time to adjust to, especially with the white balance. I especially loved your tip on taking a photo that is entirely in shadow.

  2. this is absolutely stunning!! i love these tips!


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