Catchlights: Theme Thursday

Yay! It’s THURSDAY! And you know what that means… dunh dunh duuuuunnnnnh

Theme Thursday 4

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:

SONY DSCFinally, 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?

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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.

Theme Thursday Oct Nov


  1. I’ve never heard of this before but I will have to start paying attention to it when I take pictures of my kids!
    Beth (A Mom’s Life) recently posted…Theme Thursday: CatchlightsMy Profile

  2. Did they all plan on being different Hermiones? Or was that a happy coincidence? Those boys in suspenders and bow ties kill me. I love them all and I just want to scoop them up!! Happy Catchlights Day! (Though I am not going to lie to you, I didn’t know they had a name until last week. They do make a portrait better though!)
    Madeline recently posted…Theme Thursday: CatchlightsMy Profile

  3. Love the boys in the bow ties and suspenders! Oh gosh, cute overload. Honestly, I had no idea what a catchlight was, but now I do.
    Elena recently posted…Theme Thursday: CatchlightsMy Profile

  4. I had no idea what a catchlight was until you explained it. So thanks for that!
    bobbi @ revolution of love recently posted…Theme Thursday: CatchlightsMy Profile

  5. What a bunch of adorable kids and beautiful expressive faces!
    Thanks for the challenging themes. 🙂
    Mary recently posted…TT: Catch LightsMy Profile

  6. I knew what catchlights were, but honestly never really gave any thought to them in a photo until I realized it was the theme for this week. I ended up doing a quick google search of images with catchlights, and photos without them, especially super close ups look off. So glad this was picked as a theme 🙂
    Ruth Anne recently posted…Catchlights: Theme ThursdayMy Profile

  7. Loved this post because it’s all new to me! I had never heard of catchlights before. I’ll be flipping through some shares and try to post something in a blog next week or on IG! I’m catching up! Sooo behind but slowly but surely know that I am here 😀
    Amanda recently posted…finding beauty // little big momentsMy Profile

  8. Gianna’s face! She’s got that sassy look down – beautiful girl 🙂
    Rosie recently posted…Catchlights and Quotations {Theme Thursday}My Profile


  1. […] I’m linking up with Micaela for Theme Thursday: Catchlights. […]