Hello!

Welcome to the first lesson in my brand new Makelight Photography for Beginners course. I'm so pleased you've chosen to spend the next two weeks with me. I'll do my best to make it an inspiring and thought-provoking experience for you.

Today I want you to begin to think about your Visual Style and Visual Story Telling.

I have made a video for you – please find a quiet moment during your day to watch it.

Emily

 
 
 

Your visual style

I am sure you are all very aware of how much visual content is out there today and how important it is to make your brand stand out. You want people to recognise your own visual style and to enjoy your visual story telling. 

This is a huge thing to think about and develop but I always like my students to think about it right from the beginning, even if it might feel a bit daunting. Please don't panic about it. Just see today as the first day of beginning to think about it and work on it. It isn't something that will just happen.

In the next couple of weeks there will be some lessons that make sense straight away and others, like this one, that are going to take time. But it is always good to make a start! 

Get pinning!

Please make a private Pinterest board and start to get a sense of what you want your visual style to look like. Images that give a feeling of the kind of style you want to achieve are what you're looking for. On my Pinterest I gather so many images more or less all the time. If you look through some of the boards, you'll see me exploring different styles and palettes.

To me it's my sketchbook – I gather inspiration before distilling it into what I produce myself. Here's an example. My Dark and Moody board. If you've seen my Instagram gallery you'll see that this isn't a style that often appears, but I continue to explore it nonetheless.

 
 

If you've taken part in my taster course you'll have had a short introduction to this. Try to take things further. Delve into a specific area that you've already been collecting around. What colours are shouting at you, what themes seem obvious, immediate and achievable?

Have fun! xo

 

Hello again! 

In this lesson I'm going to talk about my very favourite thing, Finding the Light. If there is just one thing you take away from this whole course I want it to be this. Light is absolutely crucial for photography.

Finding the light and using the light to create the images you want are the foundations to great photography. If you have great light then the images you are taking are immediately going to improve.

If you've been part of my taster course some of this may feel familiar. Don't worry. Embrace that feeling and use the opportunity to think even more about the light where you live. I've been studying light for a long time…

Emily

 
 

Disable your flash

The first thing I want you to do today is turn off your flash on your camera and your phone. For the rest of this course we are going to be shooting in natural light. 

The next thing you need to do is begin to find your happy spots for photography in your own homes, workplaes etc. To find a happy spot you need to start with a window and turn off any lights in the room. Tables close to windows and mantelpieces in rooms with big windows are great but you can also set up a space on the floor near a window. 

In addition to finding your happy spots near windows you also need to become aware of how the light changes throughout the day and throughout the year. Taking a photograph at 8am in August is very different to taking a photograph at 8am in December for example. 

 

Seasonal light

It may sound really obvious to talk about light changing as the day or year goes by. Of course it does! But this is really important to remember when you are taking photographs. Once you become tuned into finding the light for your photography you will begin to notice it all the time, and when you see happy light it will really make you smile and want to grab your camera and start shooting! 

Today and over the week I want you to notice how the light changes in different rooms in your homes throughout the day. As you get to know the light in your home you will really get to know which windows are going to work the best for you. Or you might have a favourite morning window and a favourite afternoon window. I also want you to notice the light when you are outside. Just begin to be a lot more aware of the light around you as this will help so much when you are looking for good light for your images, whether you are indoors or outdoors. 

 

Talking about the weather

Of course it isn't just the time of day or time of year that is important to think about but also the weather. On a bright Summer's day you will probably find the light is too harsh near your window and you might want to hang a muslin sheet up to diffuse the light coming in through the window. 

When you are photographing outdoors you also need to be aware of the light. Watch how it changes. Look for beautiful dappled light. Look out for gorgeous morning and early evening light, particularly in the Summer. Autumn and Spring are my favourite seasons to photograph in because you can get some lovely sunshine but it's not as harsh as it can be in the Summer. And September (and October on days like today!) is my all time favourite month of the year to photograph in when I'm in the UK. 

Try taking images at different times of day, so that you can begin to recognise what good, natural light does for your images. 

For the duration of the course, if you tag any images you'd like to share with #makelightbeginners then we'll all be able to see your progress.

Until the next episode xo