Feature Articles

Photography tips: How to take great photos of people at night and low-light

By Alvin Soon - 23 Dec 2017

Shoot during dinnertime

Note: This article was first published on 21st December 2015, and republished again as it's suitable for this season.

Taking photos at night is challenging, and taking photos of your friends and family at night is even more challenging!

But it is possible. Besides the usual techniques like increase your ISO and shutter speed, there are other simple things that anyone can do to get better shots at night.

Here are seven step-by-step tips to take better photos of your friends and family at night and low-light, shot with the Canon EOS 760D, and my friend Cordelia Daphne.


1. Shoot during dinnertime

One of the best times to take ‘night’ photos is actually just after the sun has gone down, and it’s not completely dark yet.

Here are three reasons why:

  1. The daylight is fading, but there’s still some of it, so you can still see your friends and family, as well as the background
  2. Outdoor and indoor lights are being turned on, which give you more light to brighten your subjects
  3. The yellow lights contrast beautifully against the sky, which is turning dark shades of blue and is not yet a murky black

Compare the photo above with this photo below, taken at the same place, but at a later time. The background is darker, and the sky is an empty black.

To shoot after the sun has set:

  1. Find out when the sun sets using your smartphone’s Clock or Weather app, or just check online
  2. Shoot quickly, because you won’t have much time before it turns completely dark
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