Tag Archives: lighting

Taking great photos

Many of us have seen optical illusions. If you have not, my post will make more sense after you read this article by The Washington Post. When you are done reading the fun information, come back here and learn about photographing your braids.

Showing light differencesTake time to look at A, B, C, and D. Same model. Same dress. Same hair. Same blue flowers. I want to talk about two differences: lighting and backdrop.


Chose your favorite from above. Why did you choose it? If you chose A, it could be because you like water or rivers. Really focus in on A. Notice how the details of the hair are difficult to see. The back of the models head is shadowed. The river is the brightest object in the photo. It draws your focus.

When photographing braids you want the viewers focus to be drawn to the hair. Light is a good way to draw that focus. Let’s move on to B. Yes, the hair is better lit, unfortunately her hair is the exact same color and pattern as the rocky backdrop. This brings us to the second part of this lesson. Backdrops.


When items in a photo are the same color and texture, it is unclear what the photo is about. One might assume that B is about the models back. It is the most prominent feature in the photo. If you want hair to stand out, you must place it against something that will help it stand out.

Take a look at C. Placing a well lit object in front of a dark blurry background can be striking. And yet, striking is not always the best  display for a hairstyle. It can be a form of distraction in and of itself. While it may make a great photograph, it will not necessarily draw the viewers attention to the hair specifically.


A well lit photograph with a blurred backdrop, is perfect. The river in D provides reflective light angling up at the model just where it is needed most. The two sources of light (sun and river reflection) maintain a perfect balance, staving off shadows. There is plenty of distinction between objects.

Gather your photographs and lay them out, side-by-side. Remove your emotional attachment to them. Look at them with new eyes. Where is the light? Is the hairstyle detached from the backdrop? What would you remove from the photograph, if you could, to help draw the viewers attention to the hair? Keep this mindset the next time you pull out your camera. You will be taking great photos in no time. Thanks for joining us today at The Braid Zone. We will see you tomorrow.

Team member 3