The Photography Student Answer To Soft Side-Light

If you want to learn how to light a portrait for a beauty or fashion shoot you can use the almighty school of Google and come up with over 10,000 results. Page after page of photographers explaining their expensive lighting equipment and where to go to buy it… Once you’ve maxed out your credit card getting their oddly specific set up you are ready to move on to your camera’s manual. Just a little light reading on deciphering histograms and flash syncing. Then, and only then, you are ready to hunt down the tab you had that set up saved on, reload it, and begin following instructions 2 through 200 with the use of a protractor and a measuring tape.

The best piece of advice my college professor ever gave me was use the sun as your main light. It’s cheap, for the most part readily available and always offers a new challenge and opportunity to experiment. Learn how the sun moves, go out and shoot at different times of day and practice. When you figure out techniques using the sun you will find the studio is the easiest set up. Why he gave me this advice after I graduated I’ll never know. It would have saved me a lot of cash and being on a first name basis with a rental shops unnerving associate. Nonetheless this is the advice I give to every students who assist me.Continue Reading