Four Tips for Better Low Light Portraits

Capturing portraits at night or during low-light situations without strobes or speedlights can be tricky. You don't want to capture blurry or out of focus shots, so what can you do to help reduce taking bad photos?

The couple over at Mango Street share four tips on what you can do during those late night portrait sessions to help improve your photos. The first tip covers lighting which is crucial for any photo regardless of the time of day. Placement of lighting is always important, but with less available light, placement of certain lights in the background can help make those photos pop or create the separation you need with your subject and the environment. 

Most cell phones today have built-in flashlights which can help you in your photography as well. The first tip touches on this and the cell phone is brought back up again in the third tip to help with focusing. I have actually used my phone as shown in this tip to help out not just in portraits but other subjects late at night. Depending on your camera, using the built-in AF assist beam with flash disabled or even Nikon's focus assist light can help in place of a phone unless you are too far away from your subject. In that case, a second person can assist with holding the phone closer to help nail that focus. The other two tips cover the shutter and aperture settings of your camera and also some post-processing of the photos. 

What are some other important tips for shooting portraits in low-light situations?

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1 Comment

Robert Nurse's picture

Using your cellphone flash with a gel was a nice tip!