Family Portrait Photography in Erie: Low-Key Portraiture


Last week I highlighted some High-Key portraiture using a white background. This week I wanted to show you some images taken at the opposite end of the background spectrum.

Often called “Low-Key” lighting, this technique features a dark background. The objective is not to simply lower the lighting level; you still need enough light to render the subjects well in the exposure. In fact, with dark-haired subjects, you may need as my lights as the High Key method. These lights are often pointed back toward the camera to provide some illumination on the subjects’ hair, for separation from the background.

In this image, we have mother and daughters, all dressed in black, against a black background. A key light to camera right provides the front illumination of the right side. A fill light to camera left lightens the shadows. And two lights behind them fitted with grids, provide the rim or hair lighting.

You can see a nice shine in the girls’ hair from the supplemental lighting, as well as clearly lit faces. Low-key images are often subdued and elegant in appearance, contrasted with the higher-energy appearance of high-key imagery. These portraits do very well in large print format, in canvas or traditional print form.

Fall Break


After two years we were finally able to capture these young men together! The weather was incredible for October 13th – nearly 80 degrees and no wind. Add the turning leaves and we had a great afternoon for photos. The only downside was the mosquito frenzy once we left the beach.

Great job guys. And thanks for supporting our October benefit – the Baker Family!

Family Sunset


Thursday brought a wonderful sunset at the beach. My guest family were great sports as we captured images of them on their boat, at the marina, on waterworks/bayside and on the beach at sunset. We had absolutely perfect weather and the sunset was great. Let’s hope the weather stays this good for all of my remaining sessions.