How a natural light photographer takes on a studio challenge…

Most people who follow my blog or my Instagram know that I participate in several challenges, a photo-a-day challenge based on daily prompts, and three different weekly challenges.  While I can not always commit to them all…I try.  I try, as much as a mom-of-three can commit to anything besides coffee.

This week, one challenge’s prompt was ‘High Key Photography’.  I had no idea what this meant…although I have seen and done this type before I was not aware it had a name, even more so required studio lighting.  I consider myself a natural light photographer.  I use the light I am given and no flash.  Why, because it is natural, beautiful and honest… and a challenge.

So what is High Key Photography?  It is when you use ‘unnaturally’ bright lights to make a white and bright image of a subject.  While it use to be used in film to display high contrast ratios, it is now used as an artistic approach and in product marketing (i.e. iphone and toothpaste ads).  Products look upbeat, happy and high-end in white.  While dark photos convey tension and drama.

Since I am mostly a lifestyle portrait photographer I used my newest subject.  She was up for the challenge after a full belly of milk.  I used my full frame Canon DSLR- it lets in the most light, my 17-40 mm 4 f stop Canon lens, it is wide enough that I can simply stand over my subject, a Shutter Hugger Dalmatian– because my subject loves it, and a white foam board. I set up next to my sliding glass door.  No flash, not even a reflector used. However, lots of baby talk. Here is an image straight out of camera or SOOC as they say in the photography world.


Challenge accepted, met and crushed!  I think they came out well considering the equipment I used.  Adobe Lightroom for basic editing. Typically this is not my style but I like trying new things and stretching my comfort zone.  My client was also happy with the results.

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