The Role of Lighting in Photography

Think about the last time you went shopping for clothes. Some stores, in their attempts to sell their goods, have the most flattering lightings by the mirrors in their fitting rooms. Others seem to not have a priority on selling clothes, so you look as good as a convict in his mug shot.

At this point, we know that between Photoshop, filters, and camera angles, an average Joe can look as good as a dapper lad with a good closet and an expensive stylist. But one of the greatest elements that isn’t mentioned as much is the role lighting plays in making people look their best. It is for this reason that professional photographers have a myriad of light modifiers.

Umbrellas: Umbrellas will flood your frame with light. If you want even light to cover the entire area you’re shooting, a basic umbrella with reflective material is a safe bet. If you’re taking pictures of a larger group of people, such as a graduating class, or a wedding party, having one of each end will yield best results. However that’s just one of the basic uses of this tool. You can take pictures through it, or to bounce light in an intended direction.

Soft box: The best analogy to explain using a soft box would be to tell you to stand next to a window to get your picture taken. The light coming in is somewhat diffused, lighting only a portion of you. A soft box will also diffuse shadows, eliminating unflattering, harsh light. This is also a perfect tool for smoothing out skin imperfections. And depending on the type of photography, you can play around by placing it overhead for more even lighting, or from below, for a more cinematic, dramatic look.

Reflectors: In the absence of having more sophisticated photography tools, a reflector will also help you in eliminating unwanted shadows in pictures. It’s a low cost, portable, and easy alternative when you don’t have an entire studio at your disposal.

The easiest way to get the most flattering pictures, of course, is to hire a professional photographer. At MP Studios Tampa, we have the training and experience to make you look like the best version of yourself in all your pictures. Contact us, tell us about your vision for your photos, and we’ll make them a reality.