Dear photographer trying to find her way,
I’m going to let you in on a little secret..when you find good light; STAY THERE. Make the most of it. Seriously, I beg of you.
There is a common pressure we put on ourselves as photographers to keep moving, moving, moving throughout our session to provide variety to our clients. However, this often ends up kicking us in the booty because when we decide to forego an ideal light source and leave that initial spot for the soul purpose of providing “variety” and “hustling” just to hustle, we pay for it. Think of the amount of portraits you could be capturing in that same time spent searching for golden light in locations that may not even offer it! I know I have been there before.. rushing ahead to find that “next spot” and upon arriving realize that location that looked so picture perfect from afar was less than ideal because the light just wasn’t there! *insert sobbing eye emoji* It really is the worst feeling!
So here is what you have got to do: FIND the light & then STAY there.
Be creative and utilize that one location as much as physically possible and THEN you can move forward! Shoot tight, shoot wide, vertical, horizontal, think outside of the box and ALLOW yourself to get creative in that one spot before ever moving ahead! The honest truth is: sometimes as photographers you have to choose prime lighting over your clients background preference because good light will make the best of any situation and you won’t even care that you are shooting in a street alley instead of that gorgeous building you had in mind! Optimizing your light source is key to producing GREAT portraits and it’s your job as a photographer to direct your clients in the direction the shoot should go because YOU are the expert they have hired and they genuinely want You to lead them!
Below are 3 examples where we opted for good light OVER an ideal background:
yes this was photographed with a parking garage entrance to our right & a dumpster to our left…no regrets!!!
2. For this senior session I had Caroline sitting literally in the middle of a parking lot for a big portion of her portraits because the light was just too good to pass up! by now, there are really no requests “too strange” and I love that my clients trust me enough to just run with it!! bless their souls! hahah
3. for these portraits we played around with the lighting in an area i would typically avoid (due to harsh direct sunlight) but instead we used the gravel as a natural reflector to create a pretty sun-kissed glow! loved how it turned out!!!