High Key Portraits: Indoors and Outdoors


High Key Portraits: Indoors and Outdoors

High Key Portraits: Indoors and Outdoors
It is an image that contains predominantly lighter tones. It is not an overexposed image.

Why shoot High key?

A high key image can give a happier, fresher more open feeling.

A high key image can be more flattering to your subject.

A high key image will attract the viewer’s eye more readily.

We can shoot indoors or outdoors with whatever equipment you already have

In this class you will learn how to shoot quality high key photographs by watching me shoot high key with a model.

You will see many of my high key images which I will use to explain the principles and the techniques used in this genre of photography.


You need to be careful, when shooting high key, to not blow out your highlights on your subject.

An SLR will have histogram and highlight alert that will help you determine the correct exposure.

You may find it better to slightly underexpose your image and then pull up the tones in post production (if that is an option for you).


Generally speaking we want to eliminate as many shadows as possible so using a soft light from a large light source is ideal.

Lighting from front will also help to eliminate shadows.

Outdoors on a cloudy day is a good starting point or indoors by a large window.

If you have access to a flash, use it with a large softbox or large umbrella.

Keep your background light as well. Keep it close to your subject or light it separately.

High key photography is another option for us as photographers to express our ideas and tell our stories. We have so many options and techniques that we can utilise in our quest for creative expression.

Be bold…

Don’t settle for the mediocre.

Always strive for spectacular images.

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