Famous Photographers: 100 things we wish we knew starting out

How to make money from photography: tips for how to supplement your income by doing what you love

Lighting Tips

3 stupidly simple lighting techniques that will transform your family portraits

“Try to think in terms of light and palettes of colour to achieve consistency.” – Sam Barker

“Unless I’m shooting at night, the camera settings don’t even cross my mind. All I concentrate on is finding a subject that will make a strong image. As for shooting at night, you have to work harder, because the light drops every three or four minutes and you have to run through all the camera settings to make sure it’s set up right.” – Jason Hawkes

“In order to capture a truly memorable photograph, you really need to pay close attention to the light, and learn as much as you can about not only your subject, but the location itself. How does the light change through the seasons? Where are you most likely to find your subject? Spend as much time as you can observing your subject’s behaviour and note down any patterns.” – Ben Hall (via Photography Week)

“I prefer to shoot in ambient light and rarely use flash.” – Suzi Eszterhas

“I’m no good at setting up lighting, so I just used the light that was available throughout. If we were inside shooting and it was dark, I would just shoot at a high ISO.” – Jordan Matter (via Photography Week)

“Sometimes you can achieve dramatic results by placing yourself so that your subject is back-lit (shooting with the sun facing you) or side-lit.” – Suzi Eszterhas

“I strive for the considered use of colour and tonal range – waiting for the right light, in other words – and aim for simple compositions that will stand the test of time. As Coco Chanel said, ‘Fashion fades, only style remains.’” – Fran Halsall

“When the sun is near the horizon, light is more colourful, making it ideal for creating atmospheric images. Avoid strong light from an overhead sun as it tends to give washed-out results.” – Fran Halsall

“Pay close attention to what’s happening in the sky. Clouds are as important as the landscape itself, because of the way they reflect light, and blank skies can be a little bland.” – Fran Halsall

“I like to use a basic lighting set up, and really like LED and Kino Flo lights. I love constant lighting. I used to be a painter, so I am thinking about light all the time – and with digital cameras it’s so much easier to achieve a lighting effect.” – Lorenzo Agius

“I always try to get to a location early, so that I’m not rushing to get into position when the light is perfect, but there are times when you get there and Mother Nature doesn’t play ball. You end up waiting for hours and it doesn’t happen, so you have to come back another time.” – David Noton

Lighting for portraits

Studio Lighting: 4 classic but seriously simple lighting techniques to try at home for professional-looking portraits

“The darker the [subject’s] skin, the flatter the light you need. If your subject’s got bad skin, use a bigger, softer light source.” – Robert Wilson

I much prefer natural light, and keeping things simple. I have just learned lots of ways to cheat, to be able to shoot anyone, in any weather, through sheer experience. I just focus and expose on the subject’s face to get that correct, then the rest of the picture is a balance of light, colour and texture used as a background to the main event, which is the person.” – Annabel Williams

“Look for soft even light – under a tree, in a doorway, or under a porch – which creates really flattering light every time.” – Annabel Williams

“Many people don’t really understand how to find the most flattering light. They tend to start with the person, whereas I start with the background, create myself a ‘set’, make sure it’s in soft even light, then position my subject in that ‘set’ and take a variety of shots there knowing that the background works wherever they are in it, and the light is always going to be flattering.” – Annabel Williams

“A child can look really cute running around, but if there are patches of light over their face, or poles ‘growing’ out of their head, it will not make a great shot. Getting it right is all about slowing down and realising that you can control what you are doing. Preparation is the key.” – Annabel Williams

“You need to think about light all the time. Photography is about light, and it can come from any source – the sun, a candle or a computer, for example.” – Rankin

PAGE 1: Camera gear – and how to use it
PAGE 2: Photo composition tips
PAGE 3: Exposure tips
PAGE 4: Lighting tips
PAGE 5: Tips for managing your photography workflow
PAGE 6: Tips for selling your photos
PAGE 7: Photography tips for shooting in the field
PAGE 8: Final photography tips to remember


Studio Lighting: 4 seriously simple lighting techniques to try at home
The still life photographer’s guide to lighting: 4 techniques, 4 different effects
Free portrait lighting cheat sheet

  • Johan Bauwens

    I wish I had known in advance how much it would have cost !

  • £¥Øҧ

    HAHAHAHA perfect!