At McNeil Designer Portraits we use an external light for all our family photography and executive portrait sessions. As the majority of our sessions are outside on-location using an off camera light (also known as a “softbox”) makes for an overall better image. I say this as a “people photographer” because it makes a distinct difference in the look and feel of final outcome.
We’ve all seen photographs that look under-exposed with no “pop” or detail in the faces or with flash photography where the subjects are over-lit to the point that they look washed out or overexposed. They just don’t look very good which can be disappointing.
There are five things that using a soft box can make for a great photograph:
- The soft box allows us to create the mood or look for the portrait.
- It allows us to control the quality of light on our subjects.
- It puts a bit of sparkle or “catch-lights” in the eyes. For me this is a biggy for without the light the eyes look lifeless. Having the catch lights brings more vitality to the subjects.
- It puts warmth in the skin tones adding a a gentle glow to the faces
It’s these subtle differences that can make you look fantastic in your family photograph