Boost your portrait photos with unique star-shaped catchlights

Shooting Tutorial
(Image credit: Natalia Zmyslowska)

When taking a portrait, it is important to include catchlights. These are reflections of the light source in the subject’s eyes that can add life, depth and a captivating sparkle. They make your subject look more vibrant and engaging and can turn a mundane portrait into an eye-catching one. 

The shape and intensity of catchlights can vary depending on the shooting environment. When shooting in a studio, the most effective way to create catchlights is to direct a light source towards your subject. This can be easily accomplished using a softbox or beauty dish to diffuse light for flattering effects. Similarly, when shooting outdoors, the sun creates natural catchlights, even when the weather is overcast. In fact, on overcast days, the clouds act as a natural softbox, creating gentle reflections in your subject’s eyes.


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Natalia Zmyslowska

A passionate photographer with an insatiable wanderlust. When not writing tutorials to educate creative and technical techniques, Natalia’s lens is drawn to architectural marvels, landscapes, and wildlife. With her camera as a constant companion, she embarks on journeys, capturing the essence of the beauty of the world’s most stunning places and the wonders of nature.

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