Saturday, March 9, 2013

Foxy Pinups Perfected: Highlighting The Eyes with Lighting

I'm starting a Saturday series of blog posts and I am SUPER excited about it. 

(You all know me though-it doesn't take too much to get me excited!!!) 

I'm calling it "Foxy Pinups Pefected" and each blog will talk about things to look for when choosing, and also photographing, beautiful pinup models.

Without further adu... Blog Number 1, Commence!

If you guys were nerdy like me in high school and drew cartoon characters all over your Lisa Frank spirals, then bare with me! In those cartoon drawings, I would always draw in a little white bubble or two in the eyeballs. I'm sure you guys drew it too without even realizing it! You were drawing one of the most essential tools in highlighting your subject's eyes; a catch light. 

Wikipedia define's Catchlight or catch light as:
a light source that causes a specular highlight in a subject's eye in an image.[1] They are also referred to as eye lights or Obies, the latter a reference to Merle Oberon, who was frequently lit using this technique. 

With pinup photography, because of the style you're emulating, you always want to have catch lights present and reflected in your subject's eyes. This adds dimension and depth to the eye and also let's you know that the lighting is correct on your subject's face. I went ahead and pointed out the catch light below in the gorgeous Laura's eyes.

To make sure a catch light is present in your subject's eyes, look to your light source. Here in our studio, our fill light is named "Phil" and we use him for catch lights in our Foxy Pinup girl's eyes. We have Phil located off to the right and slightly behind the photographer. 

When shooting your subject, be aware of where your fill light is in regards to their eyes. Always be thinking about your subject's brow and eye shape. Someone with deep set eyes will need the fill to be more centered behind the photographer and their chins lifted slightly higher to get that same catch light effect rather than someone with wide set eyes or almond shaped eyes. 

To me, having catch lights present in Pinup Photographs separates the professionals from amateurs.

When your subject doesn't have light reflected back in her eyes you have....


Have no fear! Now that you know about catch lights you can:

1. As a pinup photographer, figure out how to make catch lights work for your images

2. As a client, choose a pinup photographer that understand this concept.



h i l a r y h o p e 

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