What you have: any camera at all.
What you don’t want: Flash. Fluorescent lights. Yellow walls.
Ideal situation: an overcast day

Here’s what you don’t do:

  • take the picture in the kitchen. The lighting in there is always weird.
  • take a picture in the bathroom. The flash will go off. It will be ugly and unflattering, and the color will be wrong and the flash will make a big white spot on your picture and no one wants to see the toilet in the background and for heaven’s sake, just don’t do it! (not even going to take a picture of that one.)


Here’s what you do:

  • Find a friend, or use a table to set your camera on. Just about every camera out there (except maybe cell phones?) have timers. Use that if you don’t have someone to help you get the shot.
  • Stand near, but not right next to, a big window. Ideally, one that’s North-facing (South-facing for those south of the Equator). If you can’t do North-facing, just make sure you’re not standing immediately by the window. Sheer curtains can help soften the light even more, as long as they don’t have a color, because that will mess up the color the camera sees.
  • The best kind of light to shoot under is cloudy days. It’s a much more even light, and it’s like using a huge filter over the sun. It’s pretty cool! See, those overcast days are good for something!

Here’s what my setup looked like. Don’t worry if you don’t have two windows like this; the only one letting light in was the one to her right.

Take a test picture. Check it out.
If one side of your face is much lighter than the other, you can use something simple to reflect the light and make it more even.
The easiest, most available reflector: take a cookie sheet and cover it in aluminum foil. You can put it a foot or two from your face, on the opposite side of the window, to even the lighting.

Come share some samples of what you get when you try this on Charm Box Studios’ Facebook Page!

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