INDIRECT FRONT LIGHT

 

If you love luminous, glowing skin this might be the look for you. Direct light means that the actual light source (the sun, a bulb, etc) is hitting the subject straight on. Indirect light means that the subject is technically in the shade, but light is spilling in from somewhere (maybe around the corner, into a window, etc) but the subject doesn't actually have any hard light on them. I prefer to stay away from the hard light because it isn't as flattering for skin (it saturates skin tones and brings out any roughness), and it just isn't my style. For those of you who shoot like me, you'll notice that back lighting typically gives you a washed out image that you have to bring back in post. The skin isn't glowing, the colors aren't popping, and there isn't as much contrast. Soft front light will give you the opposite! Gorgeous rich tones and plenty of awesome. I use indirect front light most often by having my subject facing a window that has indirect light coming into it. That includes things like getting ready at weddings. If they are getting ready in bad light, I always ask them and/or the makeup artist if it's okay if we move them into better light. I used to never ask because I didn't want to be obtrusive but the truth is that our clients hire us specifically because they trust us to get the best pictures we can for them. If that means asking them to move the chair to the left a few inches, I ask them if it's okay and I pretty much always get an "of course!"

These two images above are here as a perfect example of the difference between back light and front light. Same model, same wardrobe, same look, and same light source, with the only difference being that he is facing away from the light on the left and facing the light on the right. In the frame on the right you can see how the skin looks like it's glowing and the image as a whole seems more polished and rich. It's not a look I shoot as often because I love the look of back light but I won't lie, I looooove a good front lit shot too.

  5D III + 35L This is one of those times where I knew I could get killer light if I moved the bride and hairstylist just a bit. They were all set up in the spot where I needed her, but she was facing away from the light leaving her face in shadow. Asking them to turn around and face the other way was a tiny little change for them but a huge change in the final image. Now, with her facing the window that had indirect light coming in, her skin glows and matches that huge smile on her face!

 

5D III + 35L

This is one of those times where I knew I could get killer light if I moved the bride and hairstylist just a bit. They were all set up in the spot where I needed her, but she was facing away from the light leaving her face in shadow. Asking them to turn around and face the other way was a tiny little change for them but a huge change in the final image. Now, with her facing the window that had indirect light coming in, her skin glows and matches that huge smile on her face!