Shining Brightly in Holiday Photos

ChatterGirls is proud to have a guest blog from one of our Advisory Board members, Amanda Batchers.

Amanda shares her insights on creating a better holiday photo and more!
As her website,, and her photo training lessons via Empowered Pictures states she is all about “Celebrating inner and outer beauty because one ignites the other”. Thank you-Amanda.

When I began my modeling career, I started to see photos of myself where I was captured at my best. I felt beautiful. My perceived flaws that used to feel like a heavy burden, I carried more lightly. I also learned how to make the camera capture the best and most authentic version of me. This information has empowered me in my life. Now I love sharing these techniques with others in hopes that it could do the same for them.

The holidays are often a time for taking many pictures. Between the parties, family gatherings, and beautiful decorations everywhere, there are photo-ops galore. Sometimes people shy away from capturing these memories because they don’t feel confident in front of the camera. I’d like to help you capture these memories in pictures that you love, by sharing one of my favorite tips to looking great in a photo.

Perhaps the most important element to looking your best in a photo is finding great light. The easiest  rule to remember about finding good light is to have LIGHT SHINING TOWARDS YOUR FACE INSTEAD OF OVER IT. The technique I’ll share today is about creating light that shines towards you when there is none to be found!

Have you ever tried to take a picture in a dark room? Without a flash it is too dark. With a flash it is too bright and you end up looking kind of squinty and pained. Or have you ever tried to take a photo and the lighting was just simply not lovely? This trick will help with both.

This is what I like to call THE TWO CELL PHONE TRICK. You will use one cell phone as your light source and another to take the photo.

Use the flashlight feature on your first phone and shine it towards your face. Remember that light shining towards you is usually the loveliest. Sometimes the flashlight is a bit too bright. If that is the case you can use a paper napkin, tissue, piece of paper, etc, and put it over the flashlight. This will filter and soften the light just a bit. You can unfold the paper for a mild filter and fold it up for a heavier filter. Play around with how close or far you hold the light from your face and filtering it with a paper product.

Then you will use your other phone as your camera.

The most valuable gifts I have to give to the world are my inner beauty traits. I have come to learn that if I feel good about how I look on the outside, those inner traits are empowered. When those inner traits are empowered, my own unique outer beauty shines more brightly.

I hope your holiday season is full of love and light, and you shine brightly inside and out.

For more tips on taking a great photo check out @EmpoweredPictures on Instagram or