Getting a good picture of yourself ain’t easy. However thanks to Beyond Certainty who are lighting experts, we know how to take a picture that won’t make you cringe.

According to Beyond Certainty, the secret to a good photo is to learn how to make the most out of your surroundings and use ambient lighting to your advantage. This will make the world of difference to your photos by softening features and adding warmth to your skin.

Below are their top tips on making the most of ambient lighting to get that perfect picture. By using these tips you’ll be sure to have lots of amazing photos to remember.

The Golden Hour

Avoid direct sunlight and taking a pic between 11 am and 1pm. If you are outdoors, the ‘golden hours’ to take a photo is in the early morning and late evening. This is when natural light is soft and you can escape the harshness of the midday sun, which can highlight imperfections.

Hollywood Lighting

Try “Hollywood lighting” for a dramatic portrait. Place a light high above and just to the side of yourself, angled down. This casts deep shadows that create a sense of volume.  Avoid placing light below you, this is called monster lighting for a reason.

Backlight rule

As a general rule, it’s best to put the light source behind you, so that it illuminates you. This creates a whimsical, dreamy feel to any photo.

Light is your friend

The further the light source, the harder the light.  Hard light can create hard edges and unflattering shadows. If you are having your photo taken indoors move lamps closer to you or vice versa for more flattering light.

Natural Light

Natural light sources offer some of the most flattering lighting possible. When using natural light, make sure the light is soft by taking your photo away from direct sunlight. Light from north facing windows, indirect window light, or shade underneath a tree will help capture you at your best by adding warmth to your photo.

Flash rules

As a rule don’t use your flash indoors. It mutes colour, casts shadows and is extremely harsh, which can make for an extremely unflattering portrait. Also, avoid using flash indoors as it leads to red eye.


Don’t leave the photos as they are – run them through your favourite editing packages such as instagram to remove all imperfections such as red eye. A quick touch up works wonders,

Beautiful light is all around us and can really impact the quality of a picture. When taking a good picture it’s essential to think about where the light is. By using ambient lighting correctly your photos will wow your chums when you inevitably upload them to Facebook.