(Last Updated On: October 2, 2018)

Window Light

To the newer photographers out there windows seem like something to avoid.  Why use the unpredictability of window light when there are other more reliable, more controllable ways to obtain light.  Windows can be a big hindrance to good quality photography if you don’t know how to handle the natural lighting it creates.

Here are a few tips to help make the most of window light:

  • Position your subject 6 ft for the window. This gives you more even lighting compared to the sharp contrasts you find when you go closer to the window to photograph.
  • Set up your subject just slightly behind the window where you can capture the soft glow of the window light’s edge.
  • You can lean your shoulder against the window with your camera facing back in at your subject.  In effect your camera will become a part of the light that is coming in through the window.
  • Keep in mind that the window acts as a diffuser to the light coming through it.  The size of your window affects the softness of your light.  A larger window will be a softer light than a smaller window.
  • If your subject is a person you want to position their shoulder so that it is facing the window.  This will create a slight, soft shadow effect, adding a little depth to their face without adding harsh lines.

A window can be a great way to showcase natural lighting and many photographers look for windows to use for their portrait photography.  Instead of avoiding things because you think they are too hard to deal with, look for ways that those same things, such as windows, can be an asset to what you are shooting.

Step inside and take another look at the windows you have around you.


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