LIGHTING FOR LIFE

We all know that one girl. The one who just somehow gets all the unspoken rules. She always looks all softly glowing in her selfies and Facetime, somehow managing to look naturally flattering but not try-hard.

But we can't just come out and ASK or anything, because, well. We're not weird. Just really really really curious and kinda desperate to know all the tricks because darn it, we want to know too!

Well, you know me. There's nothing I love more than spilling the 411 to my Sparklers:

When it comes to lighting, you never want to film or take photos in overhead lighting, because this gives downward shadows that we don't want. During daytime, head toward a window - even on cloudy days - and aim for indirect soft daylight. This means you'll want the sunlight to light up and flood the area you're facing, but not go directly on your face. Direct sunlight on the skin emphasizes lines and texture, whereas an overall sunlit space gives you that beautiful soft, glowy lighting effect.

One of my favorite tricks for selfies is simply going to my front door, or back porch, depending on where the sun is that time of day, and opening the door. Sunlight pours in, and I stand back just far enough so that the sun is not directly on my face but hits all around it. Try it!

Lighting during nighttime is a whole different story, and I am going to give you one of my FAVORITE TRICKS IN THE WORLD. It's this light. I use it for so many of my Instagram selfies and to get indoor nighttime shots of my brides too!

Now there are some important tricks to this piece of brilliance, so pay close attention. It's amazing because it's rechargeable, so you don't need to plug it in, but you will need to get this battery and charger set so do not forget that.

Here's what you want to do: instead of holding it up with one hand and holding your phone with the other, prop up the light directly behind the phone. Not above and not to the side: you want your face evenly flooded with beautiful light.

I use this tripod for my phone, and the magical light has a thin rectangular frame so it can be propped up on it's own. I like to place a tissue box, some books, or really anything solid behind it just so it doesn't go flying. Also - if you're going to be on a Zoom or Facetime call, be sure your light is fully charged beforehand!

The next thing you need to be aware of is the warmth and intensity capabilities of this light. What this means is that if you want to look a bit more bronzed, you can make the light a bit warmer on the back (it's super easy) and you'll look more golden! If your lighting at home is super yellow already, you can even that out by keeping the magical light on a cooler (more white) setting. You can adjust the intensity (brightness and softness) of the lighting as well, kind of like a dimmer switch.

I love to turn off all the lights in the room, turn just my magic light on and adjust the warmth to what I call a "creamy white" - not cool bright white, just a hair warmer than that. Makes the skin look delicious.

MAGIC I TELL YOU.

I've had this exact light for a few years and haven't had to replace it yet, it even comes in my evening bag with me to GNO because Lord knows restaurants aren't known for their lighting and a girl's gotta get pics with her posse, you feel me?

If you aren't looking to purchase anything right now, simply grab two lamps and place them both in front of you, one on either side of your face, with your phone in the middle. Lamp bulbs tend to be warmer so your lighting may be super yellow, but if you can steal two soft white bulbs from your bathroom vanity lights and stick them in your lamps, those would be better! Just wear earplugs when someone finds out you messed with their bathroom lighting, that's all ;)

Let me know if you try any of these tricks or order the light (don't forget the battery too!) over on my latest Instagram post!