I’m starting a new blog post series! Every Tuesday I will be giving a photography tip right here on the blog. So make sure you’re following it to get all the tips!

This first tip is something that I wish I had known at the beginning of my photography. When I first started I was always looking for a unique spot to take photos- an old wall, an open field, a cool building. However, what I didn’t realize is that even if you have a great location, if you don’t have good lighting then the photo will be disappointing.

So, my first point for this tip is to try your best to shoot at the ideal time of day. The ideal time of day is around sunrise or sunset. These are the two times of day when lighting isn’t harsh and you get a beautiful glow with your photos. I ALWAYS shoot portrait sessions the 2 hours right before sunset.

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Now, with weddings, you obviously can’t choose when to do photos. If the couple’s ceremony is at 3pm then you have to do photos at the worst time of day- noon. But this brings me to my second point! Work with the lighting you have. For instance, in the photo below, I was shooting at 4pm. Still not the best time of day since the sun was still very bright. I wanted to get a shot of the bride on these beautiful stairs with pillars. My problem was that the sun was shining directly on them. So instead of taking the shot where there might be harsh light/shadows on her face, I moved my bride back, right behind the edge of the shade. This created even lighting over her face and I still got a great shot with the stairs!

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Sometimes, there just isn’t a way to use the spot you want with the lighting you have. In these cases, choose light! For this photo, I really wanted to shoot in front of this great fountain, but the sun just wasn’t working with me. So I moved my couple into the shade with the trees behind them. Overall, even though the fountain would have made a pretty background, this photo is the best shot because of the great lighting. (To see more of my photography, check out my website: Paper Heart Photography)

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So, at all times possible, CHOOSE LIGHT OVER LOCATION!