How To Take Bright Photos in Winter Without Artificial Light

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How To Take Bright Photos in Winter Without Artificial Light - Tea & Curls
“You don't take a photograph, you make it.” ― Ansel Adams

We all have been there before – taking dozens of photos and none of them looking as bright and fabulous as the ones your favourite blogger uploads. I’ve been there and looking back now I wonder why the hell I thought that taking photos at 7 pm was a good idea. It definitely isn’t. Along time I’ve been learning how to take better photos and making them as bright as possible in A/W without using artificial light because – let’s admit it – some of us just don’t have the money for it.

Look for the light. When it’s time to shoot, think about what room in your house has the best light – the biggest window or lightest wall colour – and also the time. People who have full-time jobs that require them being outside their own house usually find the best time to take photos the weekend as they can pretty much choose any time of the day to do it. I find easier to take brighter photos between 1 pm – 3 pm.

Backgrounds and props. This is very intuitive but dark backgrounds or props will make your photos look darker and it will give it a heavy feeling. Light backgrounds are a complete trend in the blogging community so do take advantage of that – use white marble, white/light grey wood patterns or a plain white cardboard. If you’re shooting from a perspective other than the top, you can use fairy lights to brighten your background as well.

Reflectors. These make such a huge difference on how your photos will look even without adjusting your camera settings or editing. White reflectors will reflect (what a genius) the light back into the scene and everything will look much lighter than without it. To get a reflector that does the job you don’t need to spend a lot a money – there are tons of tutorials on how you can do one yourself but if your talent for diy is not that extensive, you can simply use a white cardboard – it will do the job just has great.

Camera settings. If you have a camera that allows you to shoot in manual mode, take advantage of that. It might seem a bit complicated at the beginning but you’ll quickly get the hang of it and it will pay off all the effort and time you might spend learning. You can set your ISO higher – if you have a DSLR, you can comfortably set it to 1600 without your photos looking grainy – and lower your shutter speed. In good light conditions I set my to 1/100 or 1/125 but in A/W you might need it at 1/50 – lower than that I would recommend using a tripod.

Please don’t feel too confused if you’re new into the “manual mode” thing. You can find amazing cheat sheets at Pinterest that will break it down for you (here, here or here).

Editing. I don’t like – and don’t recommend – over editing the photos but there are some adjustments you make to turn your photo from good to great. I use Fotor – an online editor – to edit all my photos. Even though I’ve tried multiple editors in the past, I always go back to Fotor as it’s a great tool for bloggers and makes everything easier. Most features are free to use, the only ones that are premium are some filters and in the “beauty” category but personally, I don’t use those that much.

What are your biggest tips for getting bright photos during the colder months?

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