10 tips for photographing subjects with darker skin tones


posted Tuesday, March 27, 2018 at 2:00 PM EDT


Capturing the right look for skin tones is tough. Anyone who has captured portrait images knows how tricky it can be to nail exposure and color balance. However, when photographing subjects with darker skin tones, it's often even more challenging. Photographer and Adobe Creative Resident Aundre Larrow has 10 tips to share about photographing dark skin tones over at Adobe Create Magazine.

The technical challenges of photographing dark skin tones go back to the film era, when film chemistry and processing was often biased toward lighter skin tones. Particularly when photographing light and dark-skinned people in the same image, proper exposures were nearly impossible. With the advent of digital camera technology, the issue is less prevalent, but Larrow remarks, "we aren't totally out of the woods yet." This is especially true for photographers who enjoy film presets, which can occasionally be problematic.

What is the best way to photograph darker skin tones? If you're photographing a group of mixed skin tones, it's best to place your light source -- if you're using one -- closest to the darkest-skinned subjects. When shooting in bright conditions, it's a great idea to use reflected light anyways, but it's especially true when photographing those with darker skin tones, which can create a lot of contrast in a bright scene. To see the rest of Larrow's tips, click here. For more of his work, be sure to visit his website and follow him on Instagram.

(Via Adobe Create)