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Secret to Glowing Skin in Photos

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Branding Headshots, education

It goes without saying that everyone, especially women, want to look their best in photos. They want glowy skin, a natural smile and to look 10 pounds thinner! If you have seen my images, you know already that my style is light, bright and airy. I’m also a huge fan of natural. Although many of my business owner clients do get their hair and makeup done, I don’t do a lot of editing. My desire is to take great photos on the spot so they look natural and glowy without a lot of fuss on the back end. 

What’s the Secret to Glowing Skin? Simply This!

Trust me to find the best light. What? If you aren’t a photographer, you may think it somewhat strange that photographers “see” light everywhere! (After all the prefix “photo” means light.) I notice how it spills gently through soft willow trees at sunrise as I’m walking at the park. It harshly covers open soccer fields at midday. Light changes as I walk around and move ever so slightly. This is what I’ve trained 15 years to do! This is the secret sauce that ultimately flatters your face – softening it and making it glow! So, all you have to do? Trust your photographer! A trained photographer will produce similar results every single time!

On Location Example

I love when clients have confidence and trust me even what it may seem sort of odd. For example, my location choice at a particular venue may not seem like it’s the best. An untrained eye may spy a beautiful waterfall surrounded on every side by tall trees, large rocks and dark evergreens blocking all the sunlight. Yes, it may be a beautiful spot in nature to sit and read a book or have a relaxing picnic. However, for a portrait, all I see as a photographer is a dark hole. A hole in which my client will get lost in. Without the proper sunlight and access to the bright sky, the subject will sink into the surroundings. Their face may have a green tint cast on it from the trees. Everything will be dark, and there will be no light in their eyes. Basically, it will be a drab and boring portrait at best.

Why Are We Taking the Photos HERE?

On the other hand, I may take my subject somewhere where the client thinks, “uh, that background is not near as beautiful as that waterfall over there,” but as a trained eye, I see a glowy light illuminating the back of my client’s hair like a halo, making her look almost angelic! Perhaps there is even a bright white reflective surface nearby and access to secondary light behind me. Those are the elements of beautiful light that transfer to a beautiful image – flattering skin tones, bright eyes and all the attention on the client’s gorgeous face!

So, yes, if you hear me get excited about the light – don’t think it’s crazy – I’m actually getting excited about what that light can do for you! 

For photographers interested in how this photo technically worked, the main light source (the sun) was placed behind the subject. The trees and branches blocked the direct sun. Secondary light bounced off the rocks and sidewalk to illuminate her face and keep harsh shadows at bay. (Photo of Melissa from Melissa Clark Counseling. Photo taken at Prather Park.)

If you have questions about how to prep for a photo session or how to use light in photography to your advantage, shoot me an email! I’d love to help!

For more photo tips, see Tips for Taking Photos in Bright Sun post!

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