Happy 2017 ya’ll! And welcome to the first post of the new year! It is my goal to make this blog a little more educational and a little more creative. I want to post on my favorite products in photography, fashion, and makeup as well as offer advice to photographers and clients alike.
Today’s post is a little holiday session that I shot right before I took a tour of the South (aka visited family for the holidays). I was so excited about this session but when I arrived, it was cloudy. Midway through our session, it started to rain! We made it work and the images turned out beautifully!
This session is one of my favorites thanks to the lighting. Overcast skies don’t have to be boring! Here are some reasons why I think that clouds are like the gift that keeps on giving!
Overcast skies provide even lighting
Those white fluffy elements in the sky act like a huge soft box. Soft boxes are what fashion photographers use to create that soft, flattering light. Soft lighting is great for reducing wrinkles, softening skin and brightening complexions. Throughout my body of work, I tend to prefer this type of lighting so when skies are cloudy, I grab a camera. No matter where I place the model, the lighting will always be soft. I don’t have to deal with harsh shadows and the model’s skin looks like porcelain.
Now, there is a downside to flat lighting. It tends to be…flat. So there is no dimension in the photo. It is also hard to get light in the eyes as seen below. But there are ways to combat that. All I needed to do is add a light pop of flash or a reflector.
Create a certain mood
A cloudy sky is great for creating moods. I wanted this session to feel very wintery so when I saw the clouds, I was actually thrilled. We were in the middle of a random tree lot in south Charlotte. Christmas and snow go together like peanut butter and jelly but we are in the South where snow is almost non-existent. The overcast sky helped me achieve that contrasty and moody look that I wanted from this. The model’s lips simply pop thanks to that lighting. The sun would have created a fun session but the mood would be very different. Before you cancel your photoshoot, think about what those clouds offer to your photo session.
Colors look better
As mentioned above, look at the colors in these photos! That camel colored coat is so dreamy against all that forest green. Overcast skies are fantastic for contrast. The model’s sweater looked muted at first glance but the lighting provided by the clouds brings out the texture and colors in that make that sweater even more beautiful. Overcast skies also work as a great neutral. Photographers need to think about what colors go together and what they want to portray in the session. Red will be a lot stronger and can be overwhelming in this type of lighting. But red can also be so pure and gorgeous with cloudy skies.
Need more ways to make an overcast sky work for you? Read 5 Tips for Taking Photos in Overcast Weather.
I want to give a special thanks and shoutout to the tree lot we shot in. The tree lot is called Snowflake Village and is honestly amazing! They have the prettiest trees and the nicest staff. We have purchased our trees from them for about 5 years now. They are on the corner of S. Tryon and Choate. The approximate address is 13201 Choate Cir. Charlotte NC 28273.