Around the House - By Window Light #4

Mother & Daughter

Window light is very flattering for portraits. As in the previous posts from this week, you want a window without direct sun streaming in. You also need a big window, such as a sliding glass door or a large picture window commonly found in a living room or den. The big window helps make a soft light.

Position your subject(s) so they are facing the window. They can look out the window and you can shoot a profile. Or you can stand slightly off to one side and photograph them from the front as I did here. Be sure you don't block the light coming through the window.

When they face the window, the nice, even light softens wrinkles and creates a catch light (reflection) in their eyes to add sparkle.

Another option is having the person stand with their shoulder to the window. You also stand sideways to the window to photograph them. The side light produced from this position creates a more dramatic portrait with darker shadows on the face and body. You can reduce the shadows by placing a large white sheet or poster board opposite the window to reflect light back into the dark side of your subject.

Take lots of frames while you talk to your subjects to put them at ease.