When I started photography back in 2006ish, I knew absolutely nothing about light. I knew how to point a camera at a subject, I knew basic posing, and I knew how to make a woman feel comfortable in front of the camera. My studio was called “Photography by Leslie Anne.” My photographs were as generic as my name.
In 2008ish, I attended a workshop with one of the most brilliant wedding photographers in the world. Jerry Ghionis offered a workshop just one state away and I jumped at the opportunity.
The first thing we did was publicly display our portfolio for critique. I was pretty proud of my work. Jerry had other opinions. He basically told me that all of my light was flat and boring. Well, then…
Turns out, he was right. Luckily, the next 3 days were dedicated to seeing light. To understanding the difference in high key, low key, short light, broad light and flat light. We learned to use buildings as reflectors, to tuck models into strange places to get some artistic framing and how to turn a warehouse wedding into a memorable photo op.
I don’t photograph weddings anymore, but I credit his teachings to knowing and understanding light.
This photo was taken in my studio with the same light and the same angle for the model. Each says something entirely different to me and appeals to different viewers.
Which light do you prefer?
Oh, and he’s the one who gave me the idea for the studio name, LAVISH. Huge improvement in the name. He still offers workshops, so if you’re still learning photography as a professional, I cannot recommend it highly enough.