A Light In the Dark

August 18, 2016

It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness. ~Eleanor Roosevelt

One of the quickest, easiest, and fastest ways found to feel closer to my Bella Rose after her death was through lighting candles. I’ve often said Bella is my ‘guiding light’ through grief and life, so it’s no surprise that lighting candles in honor of her is one way I’m instantly able to re-kindle our bond.

This past Monday I lit a candle for Bella just as I have each year on Pregnancy Loss Awareness Day.

And the pictures captured over the years of all those candles are some of the most special memories I have of our first daughter. They are there to remind me that she is remembered. That she is real. That she is is a flicker of brightness even in the dark.

Taking photos of candles can be tricky due to the lack of light. But, when done correctly candlelit photos can be some of the most beautiful images. Today I’m sharing my top 5 tips for taking pictures of candlelight and I do hope you’ll use them to take some gorgeous images in honor of your babies.

Tip #1: Turn off the flash

For these pictures we really want the candle to be the ONLY source of light in the picture. Our flash will add an additional harsh layer of light that just isn’t necessary here.

Tip #2: Turn off the lights

Along the same lines, we want to eliminate all other sources of light for these photos. Turn off the TV, turn off all the lamps, and light your candles after the sun has gone down completely for truly dramatic and beautiful image.

Tip #3: Let them burn

Light your candles and let them sit for a bit before taking your photos. If you let them burn awhile the wick will lengthen and the flame will get just a bit bigger and brighter.

Tip#4: Use a Steady Surface

Because we will be eliminating every light source but the light from the candle, our camera is going to be a bit more difficult to use. The shutter in our camera (the thing that clicks) works fastest when there is lots of light. So eliminating that light is going to make the shutter click much much slower. The problem with a slower camera? Blurry pictures. Using a tripod or balancing our camera on a table or other steady surface will ensure that it won’t move or shake when we are snapping.

Tip#5: Experiment

Play around with different ways of composing or taking your photos. Try lighting multiple candles and find a way to arrange them in an interesting way. Take photos from above, take photos close up of the wick burning brightly, take photos of the candle in the center of the frame, or on the one side or the other. Try various dials and settings on your camera and see which ones work the best to create your desired result. Try the cloudy or shade white balance setting to warm up the tones of your image. Don’t be afraid to experiment until you get a result you love.

When you’ve finished taking your photos I’d love it if you’d upload them to a service like flickr or photobucket and then share the link to them in the comments below. Or, share your photos on our Still Standing Facebook Wall. Or, if you don’t have an image to share why not leave a comment here and tell us how you’re planning to use these tips in the future.  Let’s light the world up today with beautiful images of candles lit in honor of babies gone way to soon.  I can’t wait to see what you all create. xo.

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