How I use light in photography composition

I love playing with light in my photo composition. It can change the mood of an image in an instant. And I love that. If I could take these kinds of photos all day long, I would! But of course, broad daylight, mid day sun and poorly lit conditions don't always allow me to do it this way, so I have to get creative!

If I am doing a photography session in someone's home, one of the first things I do is walk around the house looking for good lighting. And by good, I don't always mean bright. Sometimes, a tiny slither of light escaping through curtains that are just a little bit open, will create a beautiful halo of light - like in the first image of my son, and also the fourth image of a bride getting her makeup done - where you can just see legs! 

A portrait taken with the subject facing the window can give the most soft and natural lighting - like the last image of the bride looking out pensively. And it helps because the rest of the room is dark, with the only source of light coming from the window. 

The image of Denise with her beautiful bump was backlit by the window instead. And this cast interesting but soft shadows over her skin. 

In broad sun light, like mid day sun, I find it best - where possible - to find some sort of shade. Sometimes it is unavoidable, but the shade will help to create a much kinder light. The image of the dad holding his daughter was taken in Australia on a sunny day, at about 3pm. Dad and daughter were standing under the verandah, but towards the front of it, so they were just out of the direct light. 

Another way to add a different feel to a photo is to use the sun to create a feeling - like the photo of my daughter standing in the veggie patch. I positioned the sun partly obscured by her head, which added to the summer time feel and produced a lovely, gentle haze.