Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Indoor vs. Outdoor

Descano Photography
Descano Photography
This is a good one. A common question that I am asked everyday, "should we shoot indoors or out?" The answer to this question isn't as straightforward as you would think. The reason for that is because it truly depends on what look you are trying to capture. Indoor headshots almost always need artificial lighting unless the studio you are shooting in has an abundant amount of light coming in through the windows. Artificial lighting can be great for your headshots if the photographer you are shooting with knows how to REALLY use them. Unfortunately, I come across so many indoor headshots that look awful. Why, because there are so many photographers out there who don't know how to use the tools they buy properly. Great indoor studio shots should come across as more intimate, not blown out by over-lighting the subject. Less is more here. Indoor shots are also better if you want to convey a more neutral environment, such as white or dark backdrops.
Although I love my studio, if I had a choice I would shoot outside all the time for several reasons. The first being the use of real light. Natural lighting brings the skin tone out more evenly in my opinion. This results in a cleaner shot. There is nothing more natural than sunlight, however the way you manipulate it is another thing. Never shoot in direct sunlight. Try to shoot in the morning or late afternoon, when the sun is coming from the side and not from above. Having an assistant is key. Redirecting sunlight or spill light with a bounce board or reflector can add some nice secondary highlights. This can be difficult without some help. If your able to bring a strobe outside with you, even better. Then you can manipulate sunlight and artificial light to get maximum effect. The second advantage of shooting outdoors is that your free to find the best location for your client's needs. If they want a headshot with a city skyline behind them, well, I think you get the point. This can also be useful for clients who want their headshot to be slightly more metropolitan looking, they might also be models and want to use the shot for their book or portfolio. Simply, outside leads to more options, and options are good. Check out for some great examples of indoor and outdoor headshots.

No comments:

Post a Comment