Unless I'm shooting a fun photo with red heart sunglasses...
Or photographing for a red lipstick ad...
My focus in portraits is always on the EYES,
and I want them to SPARKLE!
Eyes are shiny and like little mirrors, they reflect light in photos.
As a photographer, it is my job to get these light reflections in the eyes!
In this photo of my model Wendy, I had her in open shade.
This means she was totally shaded, but no trees or objects
were blocking the open sky where she was facing.
Let's go in close and you can see that the beautiful white SPARKLE in her eyes
is actually a reflection of the sky she is facing!
I can see this reflection and look for it when I am shooting.
Let's look at an example of a portrait with no catch lights in the eyes.
The eyes look dull and lifeless without LIGHT.
I posed Wendy under my neighbor's big tree that is laden with leaves that block the
sky she was facing...thus, no lighted sky reflection in her eyes.
Like I said, eyes REFLECT what they are looking at,
and that is always ME with my camera!
That's why I ALWAYS wear white for my portrait shoots.
Often, my white shirts are the catch lights in my subject's eyes!
Let's look closer and you can see my white shirt is one of the catch lights!
The little black line is my camera strap hanging down.
If I was wearing a hot pink shirt, you would see a hot pink catch light!
(I know this because it happened and that's when I started to wear WHITE!)
When shooting a backlit photo like this:
I usually use a reflector and that creates a wonderful catch light.
Cloudy or overcast days offer a great opportunity for glittery eyes.
Because the sun is not harsh, I have my subject face the sun and get
wonderful sparkly eyes!
In the studio, the studio lights create the dazzle.
Look for the studio light catch lights in magazine advertisements for cosmetics.
I love to see how they position the catch lights in those ads.
Here, a square studio light was used:
Take the time to look into your subject's eyes and see if they are
igniting from a light source.
If not, position them so they WILL!