"Can You See the Light?"
Light...This word is pretty much the most important piece of my life. Ever since I took an interest in becoming a photographer, light started to become something I had to learn to see. Now you may say that sounds crazy, light is everywhere from natural sunlight to the night lit by cars and buildings.
How hard could it be to see light?
Back in my junior year of high school, I had to job shadow a working professional in a career I was interested in. Naturally, I was intrigued by photography and how people could create such amazing images wherever they go. I talked to one of my instructors and by coincidence, their cousin was a wedding and portrait photographer. He owned his own studio with several other photographers. Their work was stunning and I felt so lucky to be able to go and see how they do their jobs.
Later in the day, I interviewed one of the photographers for my project and the one question that still stays with me today is, "What is the most important part about being a photographer?"
His answer was, "Light. To be a good photographer you must be able to see light. Whether it is a bride and groom on their wedding day or an object, you must be able to see how the light looks and recognize 'good quality light'. Without light, you have no image."
I was so stunned and terrified by his answer. I would continue to ask myself for the next several years, "What is 'good quality light'? What if I cannot see the light? What if I cannot reach that level of being a photographer?" That answer made me strive to "see the light". I wanted to learn so badly because I felt lighting was not my strongest area in photography.
Fast forward about 4 years later...I am now about to graduate from college, preparing my portfolios, and figuring out my game plan on what I want to do with my life in this career. We had a career day where employers in the area came to review our portfolios and network with us.
I went and met with 12 companies and got great feedback, but the one thing that stuck with me after meeting with the majority of the employers was their comments about my ability to see the light. I was told that I have a clear style, not with just how I stylize my photo sessions, or post processing, but also with how I light my subjects. They said I have a strong grasp on how to light people whether it is using natural light or flashes. That was honestly, hands down, the best compliment I have ever received. Looking back to my junior year of high school and constantly questioning myself if I will ever be a photographer confident in their lighting techniques; I realized that because I questioned myself and motivated myself, it made me determined and a better photographer. I honestly did not realize I was looking for confirmation of my abilities with lighting until the employers said this on career day.
I think it is really interesting to see things that happen so long ago reappear and confirm that I am doing exactly what I am meant to do. I am very lucky to have this experience, and I am looking forward to more experiences like this to come.
The images featured in this post are examples of my work with different kinds of lighting scenarios!