photography tip – how to find and shoot in good lighting

Hi Love Stitched readers! ♥  I am so excited to be here and to share with you some photography tips and tutorials.  I am the owner/photographer of Cocobee Photography.  I specialize in families, children, and newborns and I absolutely LOVE what I do!  I want to help you improve your photography skills so you can take better pictures of your children, your family, and everything else!

I will have a small assignment after each post because the best way to learn is to PRACTICE! I promise if you keep practicing and studying, it will click (no pun intended, ha!). So let’s get started shall we!?

I want to start with a tip that will be helpful if you are shooting with a dSLR, point & shoot camera, or even your cell phone.  The first thing I’m going to talk about is

how to find and shoot in good light.

The goal when shooting is to get beautiful, diffused, and even lighting on your subject.  This type of lighting is the most flattering.

Here are some tips to help you find the light! ♥

If you’re lucky and it’s an overcast day OR if it’s dusk/dawn, you won’t have to worry as much about where to place your subject.  You will have even lighting wherever you place them.  But, since most of the time it’s sunny, you will need to find a better place for your subject.  You will want to find a place that has open shade.

As you can see in the picture below, open shade is right by the sun/shade line on the ground. You place your subject a few feet away from that line (on the shade side) and have them facing the bright beautiful sky. You will get a nice even lighting on their face and catch lights in their eyes. Since the harsh rays of the sun are blocked, you will also skip out on those harsh shadows and squinty/dark eyes!

Speaking of dark and squinty eyes, I took my daughter out for a quick photoshoot to show you the difference between shooting in direct sunlight and shooting in open shade.  In this picture, she was not in open shade but in direct sunlight.  You can see her eyes are a bit squinty as well as dark. Because it was a partly cloudy day, it’s not as bad as it would have been in full sun. You can still see the lighting is uneven, there are light shadows on her face, and her eyes are dark.

In the picture below, I found an area with open shade and placed her a few feet back (until the harsh sunlight was off of her face). This picture was my favorite and as you can see, her face is evenly lit and her eyes are bright with a little catchlight.


Take your “subject” outside and experiment.  Take a picture in the full sun and in open shade. See the difference between the two lighting conditions.  Show me a picture where you have found the light!  Post it on your wall and tag me @Cocobee Photography and Brittany @Love Stitched and I’ll select some of my favorites to showcase on my next blog post!

I would love to get to know each of you!  Leave me a comment telling me what you shoot with, if you have a business of your own, or if you are a hobbyist. If you do have a business, leave me the business name so I can stop by and see all of your beautiful work!

If you have any questions, please comment and I will do my best to answer all of them.  If there is anything you would like a tutorial on, let me know because I will be posting monthly.

Thanks for reading and keep practicing! ♥


  1. 1

    Thanks for the tips! I’m a budding photographer and could use all the help I can get!

  2. 2

    I definitely will try this out. I have an etsy shop (, and I’m always working to improve my lighting. Not always successful. Obviously. :)

  3. 3

    Great tips, Amber! Great wait to try them out.

  4. 4
    capturing joy with kristen duke says:

    two thumbs up!

  5. 5

    Thank you for this post. I’m just starting to learn about photography and need all the help I can get, too!

  6. 6
    Deanna Parks says:

    Thanks for the tips Amber. I love your work and as a complete hobbyist, appreciate the tips!

  7. 7

    This is SUPER helpful. The picture showing the shade & light was brilliant. Very helpful for visual leaners like myself.

  8. 8

    What a great tip! I actually thought you were supposed to shoot in sunlight, so that’s very helpful. I’m always trying to figure out photography, I feel like it’s going to be a very long work-in-progress. Thanks for sharing, I’ll be checking out your site for more info!

  9. 9
    Tracy Marie says:

    This was very helpful! I’m a stay at home Mom – my wonderful husband just upgraded my camera to a Canon 60D for Christmas – I have a LOT to learn. Thank you for taking the time to share your tips!

  10. 10

    Love this post. Very easy to understand. I am an aspiring photographer and I need all the info I can get too:)

  11. 11

    You photos are beautiful and I love your tutorials! Thank you for sharing with us!

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