I always get a bunch of questions about the way that Raleigh and I shoot/edit, so I thought I would start sharing some of the things that I personally like to see in my photos!
First of all, I am in no way a professional photographer. I haven't taken any classes, nor do I know that much about camera settings or different types of lenses or cameras. I just know what I like to see in my photos and I attempt to replicate that in every shot I have in mind. Everything else that I know or have learned comes entirely from listening to other photographers, Google-ing online, or just good ol' fashioned messing around with my camera. My first DSLR camera (a Canon Rebel T5) was gifted to me by my parents about a year ago, and that is still the same camera that I shoot with today. I have three lenses - the kit lens (18-55mm), a long range (75-300mm), and a mid (50mm). I primarily use the 18-55mm when I'm taking a photo of myself or of something else (flatlays, selfies, #fwis, room pictures, etc.), while Raleigh (in case you don't already know - he's my fiancé and my photographer) uses the long range for full body shots and the mid for more close-up shots.
Now on to lighting: I'm a BIG fan of shadows. I'm often told that my aesthetic is very "dark and moody" - which I completely agree with - so I like to play around with the sunlight and shade. For example, this set of photos was shot in entirely in the shade:
While I do like how these photos turned out, I prefer the following set that was shot in combo of direct sunlight and shade:
Whether you like the first set or the second set, my personal preferences tend to lean towards a more dramatic feel - which is the second set for me. By playing around with the light in this way, I'm able to create more volume and dimension to the photo with all the intense shadowing.
Raleigh and I try to shoot whenever we have time - and that doesn't always mean when the lighting outside is perfect. A lot of the time, it's around midday when the sun is at its highest (which I'm told is the worst time for photos). However, shooting in direct sunlight can look really harsh and wash me out - so I try to angle myself away from the sun or partially hide behind trees, fences - whatever's handy - to get that dimension I'm looking for.
Once we've finished a shoot and it's time to pick out the best shots, I always like to pick out the ones that convey that "dark and moody" emotion. For me, this usually involves some type of light play. Weird? Maybe. But that's just the way I like it.
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