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  • Writer's pictureJane

Three simple lighting patterns for a pet apartment photo session


When I started to take pictures of Chester and me for collages, all I had to lighten our magic journey was a 25 USD blogger lamp. The pictures I got those times were far from perfect. The main problems I was struggling 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-USD old camera, Fujifilm XT2. I shot with ISO 1600 f1.4 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 I had in my apartment. Everything changed when I bought my first camera flash Godox TT350 for 76 USD. And it was the best 76 USD investment in my life. No kidding.


So, if you are struggling with light like I was, check out these 3 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 may do this even if you see a flash for the first time in your life

- light will be pretty flat, with no drama


Options to buy: Godox ThinkLite/Ving. I use 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 the 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 a 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 a side window light, you may not need a reflector, but I prefer to use it anyway, especially on dark dogs.


Options to buy: Any silver flat reflector with a diagonal of more than 1.5 m, 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 are going to need:


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


- a flash transmitter (you can buy it with the flash, 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: put the flash higher than the model’s head, but bend it over towards the model.


I wish you to start taking stunning pictures at home!



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