3 tips to achieve moody natural light children’s portraits

I’m drawn to moody images especially when the lighting is subtle. Although not always ideal, natural light is my favourite in terms of getting subtle gradation of tones across the image. Here are three quick tips in achieving this look.


1. Use a dark background. This provides contrast to the face of the subject and emphasies them rather than other elements in the image. You can always add texture in post such as these images above or use a textured backdrop.

2. Use side window lighting from a 45 degree angle. Shadows on the face cast at a slightly downward angle to the side opposite the light source is felt to be a pleasing shadow. This is also usually known as the Rembrandt lighting.

3. Diffuse your light source. Here the window light is frosted at the bottom and covered in voile at the top. This is called diffusion and takes the edge off harsh lighting. I see a big difference between undiffused and diffused light and the former is definitely softer and better for skin.

I have a collection of outfits for shoots that my clients can choose to wear as other alternatives to what they may have brought. They don’t have to use it but they’re there just in case. These clothes are sourced from various places – physical shops and online. Sometimes, I get gifted some items from reputable online shops like Fashion World for example. I especially love the black cardigan with the faux fur cuffs which will be featuring in a future shoot no doubt!

I hope this has been useful. Don’t forget to follow me on, Instagram @lilysawyerphotographyTwitter @lilysawyerphoto and Facebook for more creative and wedding features coming up!

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