Create Interesting Catchlights for Eye-Catching Portraits

Photographer Miguel Quiles made this 7-minute video tutorial on a trick you can use to shoot eye-catching portraits. It’s all about paying attention to and manipulating the catchlights in your subject’s eyes.

“As is often said, the eyes are the windows to the soul, so use this idea to take the best portraits you possibly can,” Quiles says.

In the video, Quiles shows how focusing on the light reflecting in eyes and positioning your model accordingly can make a huge impact on the resulting portrait quality.

Weak catchlights.
Stronger catchlights.
Stronger catchlights.

“Just by taking a look and taking a moment to assess the catchlights in the eyes, beyond just looking at what the lighting is on the person’s face, beyond just looking at the background, you’re able to take a much more interesting portrait,” Quiles says.

And when shooting with flashes and light modifiers, creating interesting catchlights is even easier. Here are some examples by Quiles of catchlights created with artificial lighting:

If you enjoyed this tip, Quiles previously shared an inspiring video on how he uses storytelling to get great portrait poses from ordinary people.


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