Light Painting Tips and Tricks

Lapp or Light Art Performance Photography is a style in which you literally paint your pictures with light. If you own a digital SLR camera or even a Lomo camera, this could easily be you’re new favorite hobby! The crazy part is, Lapp is created with only one picture. There isn’t any photoshop skills needed, by simply grabbing a flashlight you will create spectacular works of art:



  • DSLR camera (or any camera with shutter speeds slower than 5 seconds)
  • Tripod
  • Shutter release cable (or the camera’s self timer can be used)
  • Flashlights of any color

Now here’s how to create simple photo paintings. Start by getting all the camera settings correct for the scene you are going to paint. It could be real tricky to get the lighting correct the first couple tries, but will become easier after your first successful photo painting!

First start planning on what you want to create whether it be a light globe, a sentence or name and so on. Having the shutter open for extended periods of time means you will have to pay close attention on how much light you are feeding the sensor. Big objects like globes spanning from head to toe will produce huge amounts of light even if you are able to finish the picture in under 60 seconds. For beginners we recommend starting with a completely dark room (even small lights like computers, or your phone charging light will end up ruining your photo) Once you learned all the variables with of painting with the light, then try different outside scenes with surrounding light.

Setting the Aperture – with such extremely long shutter speeds, means you will need to dial up the aperture setting very high, you want the least amount of light hitting the sensor to counter the long shutter. Usually any aperture above f/8 will work. I know it feels weird using such a high aperture in the middle of a dark room but don’t forget you can always post edit the image to increase or decrease exposure.

ISO – as iso settings go for all circumstances the lower is always the better, same goes with light painting photography. Experiment by taking a couple sample shots and try lowering the iso as much as you could.

Shutter speed– For the first couple LAPP shots try shutter speeds of a couple seconds and try just scribbling with your flashlight. Then you can quickly adjust the ISO, and Aperture according to what you plan to paint. Once the photos are looking better and you want more time to draw your photograph move to the bulb setting on your DSLR.


There are a couple more tips that will help tremendously

Always keep the light dead strait towards the lens, if you curve your hand and point it sideways (trying to add depth) the camera wont pick it up.

Make sure to have the light in front of you and not step in front of it, if you do end up stepping in front of your light it will make a silhouette of yourself!

ALWAYS spell everything backwards like if you were writing in a mirror, that’s the trickiest part is learning to write every letter backwards.

That’s about all it takes to create mind blowing Lapp paintings that will expand you’re creativity, and your portfolio!

-reblogged from James Bern

Finding a quality Photographer/PPA advice

Selecting a Family & Children Portrait Photographer
The images created by professional photographers touch every aspect of your life and give you a beautiful way to preserve those memories. A portrait can be enjoyed in many ways, whether you incorporate it as a wall portrait in your home decor or purchase copies of the final print for the entire family.

Consider the following tips on selecting and working with a photographer for your family’s portrait needs:

  • Interview several photographers. They should be willing to take the time to listen to what you want and ask questions about you and/or your family. A photographer needs this information to create images that tell the story of who you are, or who you would like to be. Keep in mind that you are not hiring someone to simply take a picture, but to tell your story. 
  • Ask about style. Do you like photojournalistic images? Or is your style more classical, whimsical or romantic? Let the photographer know what you have in mind, and ask if he or she has experience in that area. You want them to use the style that best captures your personality. 
  • Look at samples. Ask to see some of the photographer’s work. This will give you an idea of both the style and quality each photographer provides. 
  • Additional services. Some professional photographers may provide specialized services in addition to photography. These services may include retouching, for removing blemishes or otherwise altering images; photograph restoration, which can help preserve memories from past generations; and custom framing, to make your portrait look its best. While your photographer may not offer all of these services, he or she can refer you to a quality vendor. 
  • Communicate. Make sure the photographer has a clear understanding of your expectations. Take the time to discuss the services and fees involved. This helps avoid any future misunderstandings. 
  • Ask about credentials. Membership in a professional association, certification or a photography degree shows a certain level of commitment to the profession. These types of credentials can help you determine which photographer is right for you. 
  • Check references. A friend’s recommendation, the Better Business Bureau and professional associations are excellent sources of information. 

Once you’ve hired a photographer, he or she should take the time to talk to you about your family and their favorite activities, as well as offer suggestions on location and coordinating clothing and colors. The photographer will use this information to create a photograph that tells your family’s unique story. 

In fact, many families make their portraits more memorable by turning them into an event. One way of accomplishing this is traveling to your favorite location, like local parks, your family’s place of worship, or at a family member’s home.