How Light Tells Stories Behind Milestone Photographs
You might associate that saying with real estate but it’s just as true with fine art photography. Professional light chasers, as fine art photographers are often called, know how make the most of the light they have and even know when and where that light will present itself. For example, we might see a half sunny/half cloudy day but a light chaser will see an opportunity to use scattered beams of light to blend away the background and bring the subject into laser focus. That’s just one instance to explain how atmospheric conditions in lush outdoor settings can be manipulated by a fine art photographer.
Light chasers know that light does more than illuminate a subject or cast it into the shadows – it creates an atmosphere, layers on texture, adds to a mood and controls the vibrancy of color. In fact, through the ages, photographers who rarely agree on anything, all recognize the unparalleled power of light to shape and form an image. It is what they do with the light that creates a fine art photographer’s style and the ability to capture a subject’s essence.
“The difference between something good and something great is attention to detail.” -Charles R Swindoll
Through the years, I have searched, selected and discarded more locations than most photographers use in a lifetime. I study the light at each potential location throughout the day when I’m scouting a new spot. I want to envision how I will use that special location’s light as the days unfolds.
Some spots which first look ideal are too bright for the soft images of children, while others are provide the strong beams needed to spotlight an active family playing in a field. Couples, especially those who are celebrating engagements and anniversaries, usually require a more romantic setting with dispersed light to create a soft loving glow. All of that light can come from a single location but not at the same time, sometimes not even on the same day.
To see the results of what I’m talking about, visit our image gallery.
The Invaluable Pocket List
To some people, all of this walking through fields and crossing streams might sound like a waste of time but for me it is invaluable “research.” It’s this research that creates one of my most valuable assets – my “pocket list” of preferred shoot locations. In most cases, I have negotiated a paid relationship with the property owners who reserve these idyllic settings for my exclusive use:
- A multi-generational family farm with the fanciful, fairy-like buildings and troll bridges for family milestone photography.
- An equestrian estate with all the outbuildings, landscape plantings and benches for focused on a teen with a penchant for horses.
- One of north Georgia’s oldest structures in the middle of a cotton field which offers a spectacular backdrop for engagement and commitment photography.
- A science camp and school campus complete with a bevy of friendly farm animals that has spectacular light for capturing the wonder that only comes from photographs of young children in discovery mode.
- A seven-mile fence around a property dotted with gravel walkways, benches and flower gardens with dancing light perfect for senior photography sessions of high school seniors about to depart for college.
- A rural setting with antique tractors, outbuildings and a barn that will take you back in time for family milestone photography.
- A series of natural trails that lead to a magnificent waterfall which offers a spirally mist that seems of another world – perfect for family milestone photographs of active generations.
Minimizing allergic risks
Whenever we shoot outdoors, we are always respectful of the land because we believe we are stewards of what Mother Nature has given us. In these times of COVID and its many variants, rest assured that we take every precaution recommended to assure the safety of you and your family while in these spectacular outdoor and indoor spaces. If you or anyone in your group has allergies, let’s talk about that in detail. We can select only the locations that minimize exposure to allergens and if your concerns are severe, we may collaboratively decide that opting for an indoor shoot is best.
Locations and light offer a myriad of possibilities for photographic mood and tone. Don’t worry about being overwhelmed with these choices, we’ll guide through the review and help you select the setting that conveys your milestone story perfectly.
So, if I ask you to meet me at a time of day or place that seems a bit strange to you, now you’ll know why. It’s all about the light.
Liz by Design Photography
North Georgia’s Home of Heirloom Images