One of my greatest challenges as a photographer is photographing women. Being a woman myself, I totally get it. We have our “good” sides. We are never really happy with ourselves in pictures. More often than not, we try to hide behind the family, or, in my case, behind the camera.

But I love shooting women. I love showing them how beautiful they are. And I try to remind them that they need to capture these moments with their children and family because they go by quickly. I should really take my own advice {I’m working on it}. When I meet a client that may be hesitant to get their photograph taken, I spend some time talking with them, learning what it is that they don’t like or what they are self-conscious about. I take those things into consideration when photographing them.

One thing I love to use when photographing women is back lighting. Back lighting is when the main source of light is behind your subject.

Using back lighting can be tough at first. When you begin learning about photography, you often hear to put the light behind you, not your subject. It’s tough to get that out of your head.

What I love the most about using back lighting is the drama that it can add to a picture. I love the light in the subject’s hair. I love the glow that it gives them. This is also a good time to catch some sun flares. I also like to use back lighting so that my subject isn’t squinting. I like their eyes to be as open as possible. This can be a problem when you have the sun in front of you. Most times, they are looking right into the sun. If you are shooting mid-day with a strong sun, it may be beneficial to you to use back lighting.

When using the sun as back lighting, it’s important to meter off your subject. Make sure you are setting your exposure for them, not your background. This may lead to the background being blown out a bit, but I don’t mind that with back lighting. Sometimes, I will underexpose my subject to compensate for that and brighten them up in post processing.

Whether you know it or not, you already tried used back lighting. It is how you achieved silhouettes.

This week your challenge is to capture an image with that focuses on a female and include back lighting. Show off your mom, sister, daughter, wife, any female! Make sure to post your back-lit pictures on the Picaboo Facebook wall!

Here are some other tips for photographing women that I have learned over the years.

1. Never shoot from below. I call this the “up the nose” shot. It’s never flattering. It would give a size 0 model a double chin. Instead, I like to shoot from above. I call this the “crouching tiger, hidden dragon.” I find a step, wall, or bench and stand on it so that I am looking down on my subject. I have them look up at the camera.

2. Catch them being themselves. I love when I shoot a mom and daughter and I get to capture those special moments. Whether it’s a new mom with her baby or a mom with her daughter on her wedding day, those special moments put a glow on their faces that no makeup or PhotoShop could create.

3. Focus on the eyes.  One of the things that I love to catch are eyelashes, whether real or fake. They spend a lot of time on making those suckers stand out. So, why not capture them? But don’t stop at the eyelashes. If the woman has amazing eyes, make sure you capture them as well. Eyes can tell a million stories.

 Thanks again for taking part in the 365 Photography project. If you missed a tutorial, don’t fret. Our Tutorial Library is full of every photography lesson so far. And it grows each week. Also, did you see Denise’s 365 Book? It’s awesome. It’s really lovely to see the evolution of her photography. If you have a 365 photo book created in Picaboo, we’d love to see it. Send a link to


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