When you shoot with a camera, the lens is in front of an electronic eye that takes the picture for you.

When the light from a subject enters through your lens, it travels toward this eye and reflects off of it.

This reflection is called the “eye reflection,” or more commonly, the “catchlight.”

The color, shape, and quality of this reflection can be just as important as the eyes themselves.
The catchlight is what gives people’s eyes life and dimension.

What IS catchlight photography

What Is a catchlight photography?

The light source you use to illuminate the eyes of a subject (a person, an animal, or whatever) can have an enormous impact on the mood of your photograph. It changes the entire feeling of the photo.

If you’re shooting outdoors, for example, it may be as simple as which way you position yourself with relation to the sun.

But you can also play around with catchlights. They’re those little glints of light in a subject’s eyes that say “camera” or “I’m alive.”

Catchlights are an important storytelling tool and they can be used to create some interesting effects.



What Is Catchlight Photography?

A good catchlight can make people’s gaze immediately connect to a viewer. As long as there is a catchlight in an image, a person’s attention will be drawn to it, even subconsciously.

Without one, eyes appear flat and lifeless.

How do you get a good catchlight in your photos?

The first thing you need to do is find an eye-catching location for your subject to stand in front of.

A plain white wall works great for this purpose!

If you don’t have any plain walls available to you, find something else that will reflect light well.

We recommend trying out all different kinds of surfaces until you find something that looks good with your particular model.

Here is an example:

The big white circle. The most common type of catchlight is a bright white circle appearing in the subject’s iris.

I always try to make sure that my main light source — whether it’s sunlight or a studio strobe — illuminates both eyes evenly, but sometimes one eye will get brighter than the other.


In those cases, I like to use a black-and-white layer mask in Photoshop and paint over the iris of the darker eye to make it match (kind of like putting makeup on someone).

The red dot: Using a red gel over your main light source can create a tiny red dot.

What’s A Catchlight?

A catchlight is a small reflection of the light source that is usually placed in the subject’s eye. Catchlight doesn’t refer to the actual “catch,” which could be a sparkle or any other glint, but rather its location–always in the eye.

Trying to create a catchlight can be one of the most challenging aspects of product photography because it requires perfect lighting and a specific angle and distance from your product to the lights. The goal of a catchlight is to make your subject appear more realistic and less like a picture, by making the eyes appear as if they are glowing from within.

There are two types of catchlights: hard and soft. A hard catchlight makes the reflected light look bright, shiny, and sharp-edged; a soft catchlight appears as a glow around or near the pupil. Hard catchlights make products look more glamorous, while soft catchlights make them look more credible.*

To achieve both types of catchlights, you need a combination of warm and cool light sources. Warm light sources (like incandescent lights) have longer wavelengths than cool ones (like flash), so they create round circles with fuzzy edges when used at different angles.*

How do you capture catchlights? You can have someone hold up a flash and aim it at your subject’s eyes or use natural light outside and hope for the best. Let me share a better way…

Catchlight Photography Tips

There are three main reasons to use a catchlight in your photographs.

The first is to make the eyes of your subject really stand out when looking at a photograph. For example, if you are taking a portrait of your child and want them to be the first thing someone sees when they look at the photograph, then you want the catchlight to be their eyes.

One of the best ways to do this is to position yourself so that the light source is coming from behind your camera and hitting your subject right in the eyes.

The second reason you may want to use a catchlight is because it can add dimension or depth to an otherwise flat picture.

Many people shoot with their camera on auto settings which tend to flatten pictures by not allowing enough light into the lens. By adding some catch lights into a dark image, you can make it almost 3D looking just by adding some life back into it.

The third reason you may want to use catchlights is because it will help guide a viewer’s eye through your photograph. This is something that professional photographers do all of the time, but with practice, anyone can learn how to master leading their viewers through photographs using only lighting techniques.

A catch light is a reflection of light on the subject’s eyes, and it provides a spark of life and energy. Catchlights on your subject’s eyes will make their eyes appear lively and bright, inviting viewers to connect with them.


Headshot Photography Square Lighting With On-Camera Flash

When you’re looking for a new job, you need a professional headshot to put on your resume and LinkedIn profile. It’s important to look polished, put-together, and ready to take on the world.

Trying to take a photo at home with natural light can be tricky. You have to think about things like where you’re going to set up the shot and what time of day will work best.

Lighting is one of the most important aspects of any headshot, so let’s start there. If you’re using natural light in your house or outside, the best way to fill in shadows is with a reflector. They can be purchased at any photography store or online retailer. Using reflectors gives you more control over your lighting and creates a softer effect that’s less harsh than direct sunlight.

Another popular option is a softbox. They’re made of fabric, which creates even, diffused light that’s ideal for portraits and macro photography (small objects). If you plan on doing an in-studio shoot, do some research on soft boxes and consider investing in one if you can afford it.

If you don’t have access to either of these options, the next best thing is an umbrella. They’re lightweight and portable which makes them easy to use.

When it comes to a headshot, you want to highlight your best features while simultaneously hiding your worst. That’s why people use a flattering lighting style when they are taking pictures of themselves.

Natural Light Couples Photography Using The Reflector As Fill

Natural Light Couples Photography Using The Reflector As Fill

When I started out, I was so excited to begin learning photography and I was eager to try it all. I began with my husband and got him to agree that we should take a few photos in our living room. Natural light is beautiful but sometimes a little uneven. By using a reflector, you can help ensure that you get good lighting on your subject(s). The best thing about this is how simple it is!

I purchased my reflector on Amazon for $13.99 and it comes with a carrying case and a stand. This is the one that I have: http://amzn.to/1X0qz3W

I love this reflector because it expands from 5 feet wide to 7 feet wide, which means you can use it for almost any situation. It also has a unique design so that you can wrap the fabric tightly around the ball and then secure it with the Velcro straps in order to pack it up into a small circle.

We set up our shot with my husband standing directly in front of the window which provided beautiful natural light but also some shadows caused by the curtains. The reflector is held between me and the window, in order to bounce some light.

Couples photography is one of the most challenging genres in portrait photography.

A lot of beginners struggle with it. It can be a big challenge to get a couple to look comfortable, natural, and relaxed in front of the camera.

How To Photograph Beautiful Skin With The Right Light Set Up

In this article, we will discuss the best ways to photograph your products. Many people think that photography is only about the camera, but it’s not. If you don’t have a good photographer, you won’t have a pretty picture to show your customers.

Trying to take pictures of your products by yourself can be very difficult and time-consuming, but with some simple guidelines, you can learn how to take great pictures of your items.

Here are some tips:

First of all, choose the right background for the products you want to photograph. You want something that will make your product stand out and be the focus of the picture. For example, if you are photographing jewelry make sure that it is on a black or grey background so that it doesn’t get lost in the photo.

Also, try to find a place with soft lighting so that there are no harsh shadows on your product and it doesn’t look like there is a bright light in one corner of the image. You can use any kind of light source as long as it isn’t too bright or reflective.

You might want to consider using natural daylight coming through a window if it is available or using a lamp covered with translucent material like muslin or cheesecloth. This will provide soft lighting without putting. We’ve all seen it. Every once in a while, you come across a photo of a person who has the most beautiful skin you have ever seen. It’s perfect. No blemishes, no redness, no lines…it’s just gorgeous. Sometimes it’s even hard to tell if they are real or not.

Brilliant DIY V-Flats With Customizable Catchlights

Most of us know that the secret to having amazing portraits is capturing the catchlights in the eyes.  In fact, studio strobe photographers spend a great deal of time and effort on positioning their lights to create those epic catchlights.

Trying to recreate that look with natural light can be difficult. Fortunately, there are products out there that help you do just that. V-Flats have been around for decades and have been used by fashion and portrait photographers everywhere. They’re quick and easy to set up but also very versatile and customizable. You can use them indoors or out, or position them in front of a window for lovely effects with natural light.

V-Flats come in three levels of thickness: thin (1/4″), medium (1/2″), and thick (3/4″). It’s not just about how much light they block but how much shadow they throw as well. The thicker the V-Flat, the more shadow it blocks, which gives you more options for positioning your subject for a catchlight effect.

Another thing I like about using V-Flats is that they’re portable enough to carry around with me in my camera bag. 

Find Catchlights Using An Everyday Object

Many photographers don’t know how to find catchlights in their photos. They will tell you that it’s done in post-processing and that there is no way to tell if a photo has catchlights when you take it. That is simply not true. I’m going to show you how to use a simple, everyday object to find catchlights in your photos.

The first step is to place an object that is white behind the subject of your photo. I like using a piece of white paper or foam board. The second step is to take a picture of the subject with the white object in the frame with them. The third step is take the picture without the white object so that all you see are the catchlights in each eye.

You can use this same method for photographing animals as well as humans. It’s important that there are no other light sources in the photo other than what you’re trying to capture.

This won’t work with window reflections since they are actually another light source and not just a reflection of another light source. Once you get a handle on this technique, try it out and see if you can notice any difference between images with catchlights and those without them.


Creating Catchlight Photography Indoors With Natural Light

Creating catchlight photography indoors with natural light is a lot easier than you think. The trick indoing this is having the right tools and using them correctly. If you have access to a white wall, you are halfway there!

Sample Image:

The first thing that you needto do is make sure that the room is well lit. You want to be able to see the shadows of your subject but keep in mind that you want your subject to be well lit as well. If they are too dark, it will make it difficult to capture the catchlights in their eyes.

Next, set up your camera so that you are shooting through the window against the white wall. This will create a nice backdrop for your subject that will reflect some of the light onto their face. You can also use a reflector board or white sheet if you don’t have access to a white wall.

Now, position your subject (or yourself) so that they are facing toward the window (if possible). You want their back to be facing the window so that when the light reflects off of them and onto your background, it won’t create any harsh shadows on their face or body.

How To Capture Catchlight Photography

A catchlight is a reflection of light source in the subject’s eyes. Catchlight photography is the art of creating and placing catchlights in your subject’s eyes to enhance their appearance and make them look more alive! This can be done with either natural or artificial light.


Use a white placard to bounce available light into your subject’s eyes. The placard should be close to your lens, approximately three to four inches away, and you should position it so that the light bounces back into your subject’s eyes.

Note: If you use this technique outdoors and the sky is overcast, then the white placard will reflect whatever color happens to be in the sky at the time. For example, if it is blue then their eyes will have a blue tint; if it is orange then their eyes will have an orange tint; etc.


If you are indoors and there are no windows nearby, or if it is too bright outside for this method, then you will need to bounce light off of an object instead of a white placard. You may want to choose a plain colored wall or object that contrasts with the white placard.

How To Add Catchlights In Photoshop

Catchlights are a great way to bring some life and personality into a photograph. They help draw the viewers’ attention to your subject by creating a sort of “glow” in the eyes. In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to add catchlights in photoshop using three different methods: using the dodge tool, adding a shape layer, and copying from another image.

Catchlights are very important in a portrait. They can make the difference between a flat, lifeless image and one that really pops.

Tutorials for adding catchlights to portraits often involve using a reflector to bounce light back into the eyes, or incorporating a second source of light like an off-camera flash.

However, there’s an easier way that doesn’t require any additional equipment: Photoshop’s layer masks.

The catchlight is the reflection of a light source that appears in the subject’s eye. While it might seem like a minor element, the catchlight can make or break a portrait. It also adds depth, dimension and realism to your images.

The Importance Of Having A Catchlight In Your Portraits

Catchlights are a very common feature in most portrait photography. A catchlight is an area of the eye that catches and reflects light. This is usually a highlight or specular reflection, but can be a reflection of a studio light, or even an object in the scene. Catchlights are typically round and small, but can be oval shaped or even teardrop shaped.

The purpose behind having a catchlight in your portrait photography is to show the subject’s eyes as the focal point of the image. The catchlight’s main function is to draw attention to the subject’s eyes, making it more prominent in the photo.

When used correctly, catchlights can help your subjects stand out and give depth to their eyes by reflecting light off their iris (the colored part of their eye). In some cases, you may want to omit this effect for stylistic purposes.

The size and position of the catchlight in your portraits will depend on the effect you wish to achieve. If you’re looking for something more dramatic or high fashion, you may opt for an oval-shaped catchlight that sits on top of your subject’s iris. Oval-shaped catchlights have a tendency to exaggerate features, so use them sparingly.