How lighting affects Photography – Part 1: different types of light

Art is not only limited to the one made on canvas, or on a drawing book. Also, photography is an art, and not everyone knows this art well. But no one is born with these skills, and everyone needs to learn what it takes, so today we are going to learn how lighting affects your photography, and different types of light.

Here’s a quick checklist of things you need to take into consideration when you enter your shoot location:

Sources of light

As photographers, we are students of light, so as soon as you enter your shoot location, make sure to look for the types of light around you and its source.

Effects of hard and soft light

Hard light is created by small light sources and produces dark and defined shadows- examples of this would be the sun or a camera flash. Soft light produces less shadows and usually originate from diffusers (such as clouds in front of the sun) or reflectors – which can be both natural or artificial. As the name suggests reflected light is the light that’s reflected from a surface or material creating a soft light with the colour same as that of the surface that it is being bounced off from.

Contrasting light

The contrast in photography is the difference between dark and light as well as colours, tones, and textures of light.

Light direction

The direction of light controls the width of shadows, which create a shape and texture in photographs. To make a photograph more vivid, shadows are so important as they create a sense of depth and add a third dimension to the photograph to make it look vivid and real.

Colours of light

Colours in photographs have a unique story-telling element, so getting it right is very important if you want to create the right emotional response to your photograph. For example, blue light can be captured before sunrise to and after sunset to create a sense of mystery and coldness. Golden light can usually be captured around the sunrise and sunset to create a sense of warmth and happiness.

Now, I urge you to start paying attention to the light throughout the day. Try to identify the light sources, the direction of the light, and see how the color of the light changes throughout the day.

If you have any questions, contact me.

Leave a Comment


Hi, I'm Ingvild

I spend as much of my time as I can being outside taking photos of happy couples in love. I live with my dog and boyfriend in Norway, and I love traveling the world in search of beautiful locations and love stories.

Client success stories

Let me tell you about my students: 💛Meet Taran: She decided to go all-in with her photography business and she quit her part-time job this year. Even though she’s newer when it comes to running a business, she’s laid a great groundwork for getting started. She’s increased her prices and booked dream clients hear what…

Read More

How your mindset could be holding you back from success

Do these thoughts sound familiar? It will happen when I have… I am not making money because the industry is saturated… I don’t have time… I don’t have enough money to make this work… As a fellow photographer, these thoughts sound awfully familiar. I have blamed others for what I don’t have. Felt like there…

Read More

Photographer’s guide to overcoming imposter syndrome

Even though there might be better photographers out there. It is not about that. You don’t have to compete with them. You just have to be the best version of yourself.

Read More

5 steps to better SEO for wedding photographers

Your photography and website can be the best around, but if the content on your page doesn’t contain keywords that your ideal clients are using when they search on Google, then they probably won’t find you.

Read More

Why you NEED a contract

A contract is an agreement between the photographer and the couple getting married. The contract should cover responsibilities, costs, and what to expect in various cases and events.

Read More

20 must-see motivational movies and TV shows

I hope watching one (or all) of these will leave you feeling inspired and ready to get to work.

Read More

Switching from Canon to Sony

The very first DSLR I bought 12 years was a Canon. All the upgrades I’ve bought since then have, of course, also been Canon. And now I want to switch.

Read More

How to get booked- even in a saturated market

Making the value of your service clear to your clients is vital in terms of being able to charge appropriately. If you are having a hard time getting your leads to book there’s a good chance that it’s not your prices but the way you present them that’s the issue.

Read More

How to accomplish anything you want

Imagine there’s a way you can rid yourself of frustration and uncertainty in your business. There is! Simply by setting goals and creating a plan.

Read More

When and how to raise your prices

Even though we’ve established that raising your prices can be scary. But if you don’t you can actually be missing out – and even losing money.

Read More