How to get a great portrait in your….GARAGE?!

There’s a whole lot of staying at home going on all over the world. What better time to talk about easy ways to get beautiful portraits right where you are? We’re pulling this post out of the archives. We hope you’ll be able to put it to good use!

In our recent series about documenting homelife, Annette Heck talked about using your front door to get a great portrait. She alluded to a nerdy explanation for why it works and today we’ll dig in just a bit more.

There’s a fancy lighting term in photography called the inverse square law. College photography students get all queasy thinking about it…because it involves math.

Fear ye not, my friend. Skip the math. Instead, just know the bare essential of the law: As you move away from a light source, it gets darker. Whoa. Profound, right? It’s true, though, this is basically what the law says!

Okay, okay, the law also mathematically quantifies how much less light you’ll “lose” when you move away from the light. Let me put it in normal language: When you double your distance from the light, you don’t lose half of the light’s brightness, you lose 75% of its brightness.

In other words, light “falls off” way faster than you think it does.

Why does this matter?

Simple, the back wall of your garage can appear dark so long as you place your kiddo right at the very edge of the open garage. You know, like right where the door would normally close.

Kyle does a really great job of showing exactly how this works (along with some other great lighting info) in the video:

If you’re tight on time, be sure to check out what happens when he takes a pic of Payson near the edge of the garage vs in the middle of the garage (tune to about 2:50).

We hope this little trick helps you to get some great portraits of the ones you love. Stay safe out there.

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