Behind the Image: Andrea Denniss on natural light and inspirational moments

Behind the Image: Andrea Denniss on natural light and creating inspirational moments

To celebrate the lead up to PhotoLive 2014, we’ll be featuring a different image from each photographer speaking at the event.

Sometimes a spectacular image happens when you least expect it. Andrea Denniss explains how when the perfect light, model and idea come together something magical takes place.

Behind the Image: Andrea Denniss on natural light and creating inspirational moments

Image by Andrea Denniss

This has to be one of my favourite images from last year and was taken on my Getting Started in Photography course at Aspire Photography Training.

I take delegates out on a shoot as part of the course so they can put into practice what they have learnt.

It’s a great way to watch and experience a shoot and see how you can use the environment and light available to produce beautiful images you can be proud of.

This image represents an inspirational moment when the perfect light, model and idea came together – the leaves around us were just irresistible and the light was incredible, a gentle autumn sun.

There is nothing more exciting than when this happens. The shot was not pre-planned it evolved through the shoot and the environment we were in.

SEE MORE: 10 common posing mistakes every photographer makes (and how to avoid them)

The key here was knowing where the light was and positioning the model so she was front lit. I always know where my light is and work with it.

Using natural/available light is challenging and exciting and constantly changing – learning about it and spending time watching it will be time well spent.

The background needed to be far enough away so with a wide aperture the model really stood out as the centre of attention and nothing was there to distract the eye. I always shoot at f3.5 and below.

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I shot a set of images all with different compositions, which I do for each situation, and for me this one worked best.

It was taken with my Canon 1D, which I love, and my 70-200mm 2.8L, one of my favourite lenses.

Andrea will be running two sessions at PhotoLive 2014:

  • Introduction to Lifestyle and Portraiture
  • Photographing Children’s and Family Portraits

Find Andrea on Facebook, or check out her website to see more of her amazing pictures.

PhotoLive takes place in Leeds (23 Aug), Edinburgh (30 Aug) and London (06 Sep). You can view the full schedule and book tickets at Use code DCAM20 and get 20% off your ticket.


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