Direction of Light in Portrait Photography

One of the main questions aspiring photographers ask professional photographer Neil van Niekerk is what they can change about their light setups to instantly improve their photos. Having the advantage of years and years of hands-on experience, van Niekerk has deduced the answer would be the direction and quality of light. In the following hour and half long tutorial, he gives an in-depth demonstration on how honing in on those two variants will have you creating the photographs you’ve been trying to take. Take a look:

The video doesn’t just focus on studio light, it also explains how to manipulate and use natural light to its full advantage by thinking the shot through. Since you can’t exactly move the direction of the sunlight, you can change the way it affects your photograph by repositioning your subjects so they’re in a more flattering light.

speedlight photography

There’s also a wealth of information regarding how to use speedlights in outdoor settings to complement the available light. Don’t let the length of this video deter you, there is a lot of useful information to be gained.

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2 responses to “Direction of Light in Portrait Photography”

  1. Ana Alicea says:

    Thank you for posting this fabulous tutorial with Neil van Niekerk. It was truly informative and helpful in my quest to learn flash photography.

  2. Ken Johnson says:

    Outstanding presentation. All kinds of great examples of simple, practical flash work.

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