A cute and easy photo idea using window light

February 06, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Let’s learn how to take a really soft and dream like picture of your sweet kiddos.  It all comes down to light!  Let’s take a look at my image below.  She is a cutie, right?


This image was shot only using window light and my camera.  This image is straight out of camera with no edits.  So what key elements do you need to do this with your kid?  First, put them right up against the window.  Our window ledge is too small to sit on and my daughter is not tall enough to stand at that height.  I have her resting her feet on a step stool so that she was the right height for the window.  You will want the light to fall over the entire face, not just part of the face.  Also, I personally get better results when I have the child’s back against the window and they turn to look out.  Otherwise too many kids mush their nose again the window or do not turn enough toward you to get their full face.

The next key issue with light is that it should not be coming in directly through the window.  You will get harsh shadows and a squinting child if you use a window with sunlight beaming in.   Pick a window that is not getting direct light (this window is on the north side of our house).  At this point shoot in auto mode.  You will get a nice picture of your child.  However you do need to add one more advanced element to get that dream like effect.

The last element you need is shallow depth of field.  I know right now you are saying to yourself, “Hey, this is supposed to be a blog for moms that are not photographers and love to take pictures of your kids”.  Don’t worry, you can do this!  Depth of Field is the distance between the nearest and farthest objects in a photo that is sharp or in focus.  This dream like type of photo has a shallow depth of field.  So the child in the image is in focus, but the background is blurry.  You achieve a shallow depth of field by having a low aperture number on your camera.  If you can switch your camera into aperture mode, put the setting as low as it can go.  My settings for this image are ISO at 100, shutter speed at 1/125 and aperture at 2.8.  Depending on the amount of light coming in through your window your setting might be different.  Here is a picture of the space I used for this photo.

As you can see there is nothing special about my set up.  Just a window and a space clear of background clutter.  (I moved the lamp for the picture.)




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