Photography is all about light, composition and moment. It’s all about good light, bad light, intense light, diffused light, Golden Hour light, indoor or outdoor sidelight, rim light, backlight, and ambient light. Then using that light to compose your subject in your frame, and waiting for the right moment before capturing the image in your mind. Simple, right? Uh-huh….right.

Capturing the Image

Getting the picture in your head to come out in the camera, and post-camera editing can be a bear. It does get easier over time as you learn how light works, learn manual mode on your camera and just put to work some good ‘ol trial and error. Below, I explain how I went about capturing the image for a couple of my favorite images.

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Sunset Silhouette

As soon as I saw the bright colors of the sunset, this image popped into my head, and I had to have it. Silhouettes can be tricky, but the key is to expose for the light behind your subject, not your subject. Exposing for your subject will cause you to lose the brilliance of the background, the sunset in this case while making the subjects faces visible. Exposing for the light behind your subject will darken your subject as in the image above.

There wasn’t a great way for me to isolate the subject against the sky, so I had them get high, and I got low. That’s photographer speak for I put my subject on something to elevate them from my viewpoint, then I further lowered my viewpoint. In this case, the couple stood on a bench, and I crouched down low to ensure there wasn’t anything to distract from the lovers.

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Baby buns are precious, and I could have taken any number of cute, sweet images of this little one, but one of the best pieces of advice a mentor ever gave me was this – “Don’t photograph the details just to photograph the details. The details are part of the story, so make sure you use them to tell the story.”

In the case of this young family, Sweet Baby Grace loves bath time. The bath’s placement (aka the kitchen sink in front of the window) offered perfect natural, side light to illuminate this shot. I wanted to show Mom and Dad working together to care for their daughter with something their then-6-month-old thoroughly enjoyed. I scooted down to the end and same level of the counter and waited until the right moment arose before capturing the image.

Is there an image of mine you’d like to know how I captured? Comment below!

How I Got the Shot