You’ve made the decision to have a go at creating your brochure, website or publicity photographs, and you want to make the best of it, and so you get a kit list together.
Now, if you’ve watched professional photographers do their thing, you’ll have noticed that they tend to turn up with a van full of equipment, including all sorts of lights, reflectors, and boxes that nobody knows what they do.
You would be forgiven for thinking that you need to spend a fortune to get the same sort of results the professional will get. However that’s probably not the case. You see, the photographer will be ready for all eventualities. If he or she turns up on site and it’s pouring down with rain or there are dark clouds in the sky, they’re going to have to get the light from somewhere else.
That’s where all these lights become necessary. They’ve probably got one day to get the job done, so they have to make sure they can do it.
You have a greater luxury – time.
If you can wait, then you can make the most of the natural light, and that’s free.
When taking photos of your hotel rooms, whether they’re bedrooms, dining rooms or kitchens, if you can wait until there is lots of light beaming through the windows, you can get some fantastic shots.
Obviously, the position of the sun in the sky will have a big impact on the light entering the room. During the morning and evening, at sunrise and sunset, the light is more diffused as it has to pass through a lot more atmosphere to get to the target. This does mean, however, that you can get some excellent external shots that make the most of the “golden hour”.
This will give you warmer colours and longer, softer shadows that can add a lot of depth to your images.
When taking pictures indoors, you will have to open up curtains to let in more light, but, for example, if you happen to have a sun-facing front door, shadows from nearby trees could be cast inside, together with a golden light to give some incredible colours.
If you have an orangery or conservatory or other room with a glass ceiling, direct midday sun may bathe the room with light that can be bent to your will.
With clever use of blinds or shades, you can guide the light exactly where you want it, and use it to highlight furniture, paintings or other interesting parts of the room.
Of course, you’ll need to experiment, but the beauty of using natural light is that it’s free, so try it out now!