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Importance Of Proper Photography Lighting

Samuel Butcher
Written By
Samuel Butcher
Published On
Mar 09, 2020
Importance Of Proper Photography Lighting

Within content creation, many key factors result in successful imagery, one of those is the importance of proper photography lighting. Lighting determines not only brightness, darkness, contrast, hue, saturation, but also mood, tone, and atmosphere. The importance of lighting and how to properly manipulate it within your imagery is simply what may make or break an image. By using a balance of light, dark and shadows, you can create beautiful dynamic imagery that is fundamentally greater than your average “snapshot”.

Choosing a lighting style, adjusting a light source or knowing what natural light scenario to shoot in, or when to change direction, are all abilities that can make your content creation quality greater and can up your game when it comes to producing engaging imagery. There is no photography without light, and we’re going to help break down the importance of proper photography lighting in this blog.

Let’s dive in!

Why Is Light So Important?

Light is important because a camera uses a mirror to bounce light through the lens it allows you to properly capture the image you’re looking at. This allows you to capture as close to what you see as possible. There are many cases where light is used to create mood, setting, themes or tones, and showcase the atmosphere. These things help the viewer feel like what they are looking at is a real-life depiction and also allows them to feel transported. Learning how to properly light a subject or product is something that every expert photographer should know how to do.

Reflector tool

How To Manipulate It

You can manipulate light in different ways, with items like diffusers or reflectors. These allow you to deflect, reflect, soften, shape, bounce and ultimately allows for greater control of any light whether it be natural or artificial. You can also use items like lighting gels, prisms, filters, and more to manipulate and colorize light to exactly how you want it.

Types Of Lighting

There are many different types of lighting including, ambient light meaning, the sun or indoor lights, accent lighting, and modified light. There are also other natural light sources such as moonlight that may be used in photographs as well. The type of lighting can vary depending on what look you are going for, or what you may have available to you during the photo shoot. With the type of lighting, there are also many different lighting styles such as flat light, broad light, short light, split light, backlight, rim light, butterfly light & loop light.

Colour Temperatures

Lighting & Colour Temperature

Lighting and the colour temperature of any given light is measured in Kelvin. This chart shows the temperature range from 6000K-1800K. This is representative of the camera in the white balance settings as well, or in photo editing software like Lightroom. A camera white balance control is what helps neutralize colour-casts or emphasize them! Temperature of lighting much like temperature of cold and heat ranges from very cool – very warm. Using colour temperature within your photographic lighting allows to you give tone and mood to the imagery while creating or limiting the depth of warmth. Lighting even though it may appear white, still has colour.

Best Practices

It is important that you always shoot in RAW format within a professional camera, this allows you to save required data within the image that you can then manipulate later in Photoshop or Lightroom. What this helps with is ensuring that even if you’re exposure didn’t work out as good as you thought, that you can save it in post without damaging the quality of the image. It is also important that you are conscious of your ISO, too high of an ISO you may be overexposed, or have grainy images. With proper exposure of your images, you allow yourself to capture the proper texture, vibrancy of colour and luminosity on your subjects in question.

Are you looking for help with the photography for your business or brand? Struggling to capture your products and how they look, feel or how they work? We’ve got you covered. Learn more about how we can help at The Influence Agency! Contact us today!

Did you find this article helpful? Let us know in the comments below! We always appreciate your feedback.


  • Samuel Butcher is the Social Content Manager at TIA. He is passionate about all things creative & content. In his spare time this vegan-foodie can often be seen travelling and soaking up the sun while capturing amazing photography with his keen eye! You can follow him @smbtchr

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  • Samuel Butcher is the Social Content Manager at TIA. He is passionate about all things creative & content. In his spare time this vegan-foodie can often be seen travelling and soaking up the sun while capturing amazing photography with his keen eye! You can follow him @smbtchr

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