When I first started photography, I struggled a lot with lighting. In the beginning, we are often told to shoot our subjects in open shade. If you don't know how to do this properly, then the results can be disastrous: faces with dark shadows, eyes with no depth, overexposed backgrounds, etc.
To be able to create composites using your photos, you must first know how to take a properly-lit image. If the lighting in your foundation photo is off, your composite will not look right, even with heavy editing. The following are four basic lighting principles I wish I knew at the beginning of my photography career and that I've personally had a lot of success with:
Lighting Principle #1: The subject is the brightest object in the photo. Unless you are shooting a silhouette, the subject of your photo should always be either the brightest object or equal in brightness to the other objects in the photo.
Lighting Principle #2: The photo should be free of overexposed highlights....