REDEFINE | Low Light featuring Jessica Max


Why are you passionate about this topic?

I really really love the mystery and anonymity of it, and the soul that is really apparent in the images I come away with when shooting in low light. It’s different and takes some thought, and I’m really drawn to darker images anyway so once I started shooting in it I was hooked. I love looking for little pockets of light while we’re out and about, or finding tiny little windows in clients homes.

When did you first learn this technique? Or, when did you first realize you liked this topic?

I started shooting in really low light this winter back home in Michigan. Frustrated that I couldn’t be outdoors, and having gotten a new lens for Christmas, I shot a LOT of photos next to a tiny window for about six weeks. I shoot almost 80 percent of my personal work in black & white, maybe even more, and I shoot my images with that in mind.

 What are the tips you would share with anyone trying to achieve this technique or subject/topic?

-Really practice! It’s hard to see that kind of light when you’re first starting out or have not used it much.

-Have a willing subject to start on! I practiced on MYSELF at first.

-Shoot a bunch of different ways and angles and really see how the light hits the subjects face when you move or change shutter speed.

-Use ONE light source. Using one light source lets you see and play with the way the light hits without having to combat extra light.

I typically shoot wide open and I did that for a lot of these images, but I also adjusted my aperture quite a bit more than usual since I do large amount of my self portraits this way. Not much though, maybe to 2.2. I like a little out of focus and mystery.

jess 2jess 3jess 4jess 5jess 6jess 7jess 8jess 9jess 10jess 11jess


Jessica is a photographer born and raised in Michigan, living in Puerto Rico. She loves water, adventure, and giant oversized shirts. She spends her time chasing light with her little kids, playing in the sand, and begging her husband for pizza. A strong love for books, random or delicate details, and shadows are some of the things that inspire her. Jessica focuses on capturing real emotional portraiture and connection in her images during the chaos of every day life.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.