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How To Make Your Pictures Look Professional By Using Lighting

Written by:
Allen Brown
David Skyrius (Cover image), Paul Skorupskas

Have you or someone that you know recently been considering a career in photography, and you are now slowly trying to figure out how to make your pictures look as good as possible? Maybe you have been taking pictures using natural lighting for a while now, and the time has come for you to begin to experiment with some lighting to help improve the overall quality of your pictures? Perhaps you are a mostly casual photographer, and are always on the lookout for simple things that you can do to make your pictures look better on a consistent basis? If any of this sounds familiar, then keep reading to learn some important facts about lighting. This article will discuss how exactly you can make your pictures look professional by using some good lighting. 


If you are shooting in an outdoor space, then there is a very high chance that you will need to rely on natural lighting in order to make your pictures look any good. Natural lighting can sometimes be unpredictable due to things like inclement weather and cloud cover. For this reason, it is imperative that you organize your timelines to ensure that you get your photos taken at the right time of day. This might involve going to the photoshoot area in the days leading up to the shoot in order to have a look around and find some nice locations that receive good natural sunlight.

camera lens image © Paul Skorupskas


Depending on the type of a photoshoot you are working at, it might be a smart idea to try out some different LED lighting options. LED lights have the advantage of being a little bit more maneuverable than other types, and they often require less energy input than some other photography lighting setups. Lighting gurus from Viri Bright talk about the different types of LED lighting rigs that are on the market and give you a detailed product breakdown of all the different components used in LED lights. If you are finding that your pictures just aren’t turning out how you would like, then LED lights are something that you should begin to look into and experiment with. 


Another thing that you might want to experiment with in relation to your photo\shoot lighting is the actual color of lights you use. If you are shooting something like a fashion show, or a photoshoot for a band, then using a few different colors of light might be able to give you some unique shots that actually end up looking really good. Even within certain colors of light, you can switch up the exact frequency of the bulb that you use in order to get some potentially different results that might be helpful or interesting. 


There are some photographers that find themselves doing photoshoots in large open spaces, which can sometimes be tricky to use. In many situations that require a large amount of light, using a halogen light might be a helpful thing to consider. Halogen bulbs are often used in outdoor spaces because of the large amount of light that they can provide over a space. There are many different types of halogen lights that are designed for different purposes, so you should be careful when selecting which ones you will be using. 


One of the most important parts of making your photographs look good is the editing process. Editing can actually be made easier in some cases depending on the type of lighting you are using. Some editing software can help you to isolate certain bits of lighting in order to add extra contrast or other effects to the photograph. Make sure to experiment with different types of lighting when editing in order to potentially get the desired results quickly. 

After reading through some of the different pieces of advice included in the previous paragraph, the hope is that you have discovered a few ways to make your pictures look professional by using lighting. Lighting is one of the absolutely key components that must be present in every video and photoshoot in order to get the effect you are looking for. Stop hoping to get lucky by finding some nice natural lighting, and instead take control of the quality of your photos by figuring out how to use lighting to your benefit. You and your photography clients will notice a drastic difference in the overall quality of your photos once you begin to start using lighting to your advantage. Stop giving your competition an advantage by not using all of the different resources at your disposal. 

By Naser Nader Ibrahim

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