We are thrilled to welcome a new contributor on the Simple As That team! Meet Audrey Ann, a photographer who loves to find and capture the beauty in the chaos of everyday life. In her blog, Live Snap Love, she shares tips, tricks and tutorials that will help you improve your photography skills and beautifully capture the people and moments that make your days special. Let’s give her a warm, SimpleAsThat welcome!
A question I am frequently asked is how I get the eyes of my portrait subjects to “pop” and “sparkle” – where the eyes are bright and full of life. The good news is it’s incredibly easy to do! And I’m going to show you how 🙂
The most important part of getting eyes to pop is the LIGHT. We need to make sure that we have light hitting our subjects eyes if we want them to ‘pop’.
The easiest way to do this is to make sure that your subject is facing the light. If you are indoors, have your subject face into the window, either directly facing it, or at a slight angle to it (so you, the photographer, have the window at your back.) When you do this, you’ll start to see reflections of the light source in your subject’s eyes – these are called catch lights, and they are what gives that “sparkle” look to the eyes. To see bigger catch lights, move your subject closer to the window.
For outdoor portraits, if it is a cloudy day, the best way to get amazing catch lights is to get slightly above your subject and have them look up at you- the result is amazing light in the eyes!
On sunny days, your subject would be too busy squinting their eyes to get good catch lights in them, so instead of having your subject out in the strong sunlight, find an area of open shade instead. Open shade is simply an area that is not in direct sunlight – for example, the shadow caused by a wall or fence, or in a doorway, or even under a tree! Anywhere you can pop your subject so that they are in shade, but are looking out onto open light will give you great catch lights. Great places for this around the home are in the porch, in the garage or just standing at the front door!
If you are struggling, have your subject move around in a circle, watching how the light hits their eyes as they move. You’ll see how the light catches the eye, and just stop them when you get the best light – you’ll know it when you see it!
If you’ve ever considered showcasing your photography online—whether to connect with other women, to motivate you to hone your skills, or to launch a professional business—I’ve shared 5 simple tips for how to start a photography blog that will give you a solid foundation for building a beautiful photography site.