Three Reasons to Shoot Glamour with Available Light

Yesterday I talked about shooting glamour images outdoors using available light; Today we move indoors still shooting with window light.

It doesn’t matter what person, place, or thing you’re photographing, the ultimate subject of any photograph is light and it’s the quality of the light that ultimately determines the effectiveness of your portrait. Here are three things I like about making portraits and glamour using available light:

It’s free. There’s no lighting equipment to purchase, set up, plug-in, or chew batteries. You can make photographs outdoors using natural light or indoors using window light and all you need is a camera and a subject. You can supplement available light with inexpensive reflectors or make one yourself using a piece of foam core board.

It’s easy. You can see the light falling on the model and won’t have to guess about lighting ratios or worry about moving lights around or dealing with lightstands, hair lights, or booms. You will find that the subject is more relaxed and instead of wasting time fussing with lighting equipment you’ll be less distracted too enabling you to make better portraits.

It’s fast. There are no lights to set up, tear down, or pack or drag through airport security. You eliminate the expense of buying expensive shipping cases or the specter of damage or theft in transit. You can work faster with the subject getting more and better photographs while allowing them to relax at the same time.

One of the most traditional forms of available light for portraits or glamour is window light. This image was captured using only the light from a narrow window in the living room of my former home. The model wanted a “moody” shot for her portfolio but while underexposure created the right mood it created noise that may or may not be visible but even after retouching is plainly visible on my monitor Exposure with Canon EOS D60 1/80 sec at f/6.3 and ISO 400. You don’t even need a fats lens. I shot the above image with the same EF 22-55mm USM that’s for sale right now in the Garage Sale section of this blog.

Cover: Available Light GlamourFor more on this subject—I’ve written a whole book about it— Available Light Glamour Photography—please pick up a copy from Amazon.com. where your purchase helps support this blog.

Author: Joe Farace

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