make your own kinda light {66/365}

My sister, Jennifer, needed a new headshot for her ever successful business, Compass Planning & Associates. I showed up with sun shining and a nice pleasant breaze. But, alas, when show time occured, the sun was behind a huge bank of clouds and some very, very tall buildings.

No problem. It's time to make one's own light.

The issue with cloud-covered sun and immense shade is that it can produce horrid raccoon-eyes (dark shadows in the eye sockets and just overall unpleasantness).  It is direct light, but from directly above.  A spot of sun, or a reflector, or a strobe will redirect that "light" and create the directional light one needs to fill in the Raccoon-Eyes and other unpleasantness.

I shot the picture below with my other lovely sister, Heather, holding a Canon Speedlite behind a piece of diffusion material to spread the light, camera right.  I used the overhead light to fill in it's own shadows and to provide a bit of hair light.  The result being, a much more evenly lit scene and a much more pleasant portrait.  Note, the catchlights in her eyes, the even skin tone, and general pleasantness of the photo!

With my sister's forgiveness, I will demonstrate a shot without such preparations:

Note, the eye-socket shadows and general unpleasantness the bare light presents.

Paying attention to where your light is coming from and strengthening it's qualities with direction and warmth, will always provide you with pleasant portraits!

Canon 135mm 2L - f5.6 @125th 125iso