Yay! It’s THURSDAY! And you know what that means… dunh dunh duuuuunnnnnh
November brings a whole new set of challenges for us: PORTRAITS. How many of you are hoping to take Christmas pictures of your family? I am, and for a friend’s family as well. I’m pretty sure portraits are my favorite type of photography, maybe because I really really like people. Eyes, smiles, expressions. Just… love.
This week we’re talking about catchlights, or the “sparkle” you see in someone’s eyes. It is my humble opinion that catchlights can make or break a good photo. I didn’t get any amazing catchlight photos this week, although I really did try. I found a few from awhile back, so I thought I’d share.
First, here is one without any catchlights. The lighting was all wrong, coming from behind. (Excuse the graininess. I had forgotten that I turned my ISO way up to take some photos in the dark the night before so ALL the pictures of my brother’s wedding are super grainy. waaaaaaaaahhhhhh!!!)
Here’s one from the other direction. There’s some nice indirect light coming through the church door and it allows a little sparkle to come out in Gabriel and my nephew’s eyes. Also, boys making fish faces.
Cropped so you can see it better:
Finally, here’s one from Aliya’s “book character” themed birthday party last March. We have three Hermiones: Everyday Hermione, Time-Turner Hermione, and Ball Hermione. If you look closely, you’ll see a progression of catchlights, from none in Gianna’s eyes, to a little bit in Betty’s, and finally to a total wow factor in their friend Ceci’s eyes.
A couple of tips that help me: indirect light is key. Direct light leads to squinting. To get indirect light I take photos inside near a doorway or window, or outside at the edge of a shady spot with the subject looking towards a light source. Since my house is awfully dark, that shady outdoor tip has been a lifesaver for my photos.
Your turn! How did you all do with catchlights this week? Is it something you’ve always done, or is it new to you?
FOR NEXT WEEK
In November we’re going to continue our work in portrait photography. Next week is close-ups, and here’s a helpful list of tips. Don’t be afraid to just get a profile of your favorite subject, or squishy baby toes, or eyes, or hands. I can’t wait to see what things you find beautiful in your subjects.