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  • Writer's pictureJane

Three simple lighting patterns for a pet apartment photo session

When I started taking pictures of Chester and me for collages, all I had to light our magic journey was a $25 blogger lamp. The pictures I got back then were far from perfect. The main problems I struggled with were:

  • Noisy images

  • Terrifying colors of skin and fur

  • Chester = a black hole

The degree of these problems depends on the camera you use. Professional cameras perform better in bad lighting conditions, but better doesn’t mean perfect. When I started making collages, I had a $500 old camera, the Fujifilm XT2. I shot with ISO 1600 at f/1.4 and got absolute rubbish in terms of colors. The color of my skin and Chester’s fur was a grayish-orange-magenta mix, and Photoshop didn’t help.

The reason for the color problems was a combination of the cheap blogger lamp I used and the ceiling lamp in my apartment. Everything changed when I bought my first camera flash, the Godox TT350, for $76. It was the best $76 investment of my life. No kidding.

So, if you are struggling with light like I was, check out these three simple lighting patterns for a pet apartment photo session.

Option 1: Flash pointed at the ceiling

Connect a camera flash to your camera and point it at the ceiling.

  • You can do this even if you are using a flash for the first time.

  • The light will be pretty flat, with no drama.

Options to buy: Godox ThinkLite/Ving. I use the Godox TT685, and my old TT350 is still working well.

Nuance: If your ceiling is higher than 3m, go for a more powerful flash with a guide number starting from 60m (ISO 100).

Option 2: Near the window with a reflector.

Put a reflector in front of your window. Make sure the dog sits facing you, as shown below.

  • You don’t need to buy photography lights.

  • Works only in sunny apartments.

If you are completely satisfied with side window light, you may not need a reflector, but I prefer to use it anyway, especially with dark dogs.

Options to buy: Any silver flat reflector with a diagonal of more than 1.5m works perfectly.

Option 3. Flash + Reflector.

This light pattern is my favorite because it works everywhere. The main disadvantage of it is that you need to buy a certain equipment.

You will need:

  • A flash that can work with a transmitter, for example, the Godox TT (350, 685, etc.).

  • A flash transmitter (you can buy it with the flash, from the same brand).

  • An umbrella for photographers (diagonal at least 1.5m), silver or white.

  • A tripod (higher than 1.9m) with the umbrella holder.

  • A silver reflector (diagonal at least 1.5m).

Nuance: Position the flash higher than the model’s head but bend it towards the model.

I wish you success in starting to take stunning pictures at home!


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