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Find the Light | Elani Pretorius

I remember when I started off in photography, I second shot at a wedding with a professional photographer. He also used natural light most of the time and I asked him, how do you get these beautiful, clear pictures of the bride if the room is so dark? He told me: “Always find the light.”

How beautiful is that? Find the light. Those words would become the foundation of my photography career, my message and a deeper spiritual walk with God. 

Darkness is the absence of light—or the reflection of light. Our eyes need light to see—but where there is no light, we cannot see the beauty in front of us or the dangers upon us. We must have light to see. God created us that way.

When we are experiencing load shedding and the lights go out, my boys immediately shout or start looking for the rechargeable lights. They cannot stand the darkness and need the presence of any form of light.

That is how we are in life. Whenever things feel dark, uncertain, eery – we need the Light of Jesus Christ in our lives. Jesus himself said “I am the light of the world” in John 8:12 and “Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

A lot of people feel intimidated or unnatural when posing for photos, so I’m breaking down a few of my tips that I’ve learned over the years to make you feel confident the next time you step in front of the lens. 


Practise in front of a mirror or even in front of a camera to determine your best angles, poses and smiles. Try different poses and practise angling your body in familiar positions that you can recreate in front of a camera.

one of the most important posing tips is always to have good posture.

You want to look as relaxed as possible in photos, and one of the best ways to do that is take a deep breath, relax and roll your shoulders back. This will make you look and feel more confident!

No double chin: elongate your neck for the appearance of a thinner face! And push your face forward slightly.

Smile: put your tongue on the roof of your mouth, just behind your teeth, when smiling for a pic. The resulting expression is way more relaxed. For a natural smile, release the tension from the mouth area and open it slightly, almost carelessly. Or say “Thursday!”

Find the light: one of the most important keys to a beautiful picture is lighting. Look for the area with the best light and the light should shine on you from the front. Light should not be behind you, and some artificial light can be really unflattering. 

Long legs: your legs can look very long when you put one leg in front of the other at a 45-degree angle. It creates the perfect leading line to your entire body. Point your front toe toward the camera and put your weight on your back foot. This elongates the leg. 

Angles: angle your body and keep your arms away from your body. Try and make triangles by putting your hands on your waist. Move your body slightly to the side. 

Lean forward: lean slightly towards the camera instead of leaning back with your upper body. This is more flattering. If you are leaning backwards too much, it will appear as if you have a double chin and your lower body will look wide. 

Don’t try to pose forcefully. If you’re not comfortable in any pose, then, rather than struggling, keep it simple. Just stand up straight and arch your back slightly. If you’re relaxed, your picture will automatically come out well.

Take the photo, make the memories and love yourself!

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