How to get those “fresh photos with the bomb lighting”

When was the last time you took a REALLY FIRE selfie?

I’ll tell you what probably made it so good: THE LIGHTING. For real. Good lighting can be the difference between the best photos and the worst.

And it’s not just selfies – good lighting makes a difference for ANY photos.

So here are my top tips for how to get those “fresh photos with the bomb lighting” every time:

TIP 1: Find a window!

Seriously, nothing beats a good bit of natural light. Face the window, and that gorgeous sun will illuminate your face in the most flattering way. It makes your pictures and videos look higher quality as well, because your phone is designed to work best with natural light!

If you’re shooting something else, not a selfie, then try to do so in a spot near the window, with your camera pointing away from the natural light. This will give you the best image possible.

TIP 2: If the sun is too bright, diffuse that light!

If you’ve found natural light but it’s so bright it’s making you squint and casting hard shadows, try hanging a white sheet or curtain in front of the window. The light will filter through the fabric (called diffusion) and create a softer, gentler light with fewer harsh shadows.

TIP 3: Make your own flattering light!

If you can’t find good natural light or want to shoot something at a time where it isn’t sunny and gorgeous, then there are absolutely still ways you can get soft, flattering, appealing photos and videos. Here are some of the best dupes for natural lighting:

A ring light – these can run from $20 into the hundreds, so make sure you read reviews to get one that will work well for you. These are a favorite of vloggers and beauty artists for a reason!

Bounce light off white walls – If you’ve got a bright light, try angling it toward a white wall and then facing the wall yourself; this will diffuse the light and create a similar effect to the ring light.

Choose the largest light source possible – larger light sources will create less shadow and therefore softer lighting. This doesn’t necessarily mean overhead lighting, because those bulbs are still small. Something like a large lampshade may actually be a better choice.

Move a bright light further away – lights that are too close will be too harsh, so try brightening things but then moving further away. You may find that standing in the doorway of a lit room is actually more flattering than standing closer to the light.

TIP 4: Clean your lens!

Seriously, you’d be surprised how many times I’ve taken a “meh” picture only to realize it was because my lens needed a wipe! Get yourself some microfiber lens wipes to keep your photos and videos crisp and high-quality. (Or … just use your shirt to wipe any grease away)

If you try any of these tips, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram – I wanna see your results! You can click here to find me.

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