What seems to draw us into a portrait more than anything else is without a doubt the eyes. They are the window of our soul and we want them to sparkle in our photos. So how do you get nice catchlights? Firstly outdoors…
You may want to do this with someone that will stand still for you. Take you subject to some open shade outdoors. This may be under a heavily shaded tree, a pavillion etc but try not to position your subject in dappled light (shade with bits of sunlight floating through). Now firstly turn your subject towards the darkest area (usually to face the trunk) and you will see that their eyes are quite dark. Next, turn your subject towards the brightest source of light (usually the direction of the sun. Have you subject stand 1 – 2 metres from the edge of the shade and look at their eyes. They should go now have some nice light in them. Even the darkest eyes can sparkle like in THIS picture.
You can achieve nice catchlights in lots of different places. on a veranda looking out towards the daylight, under an alfesco area looking out towards the daylight, inside with the subject looking towards a large window or sliding glass door, inside the garage with the door up looking out towards the light, pretty much anywhere where the subject is looking towards a brighter light source then where they are standing. Remember to focus on the eyes and take when setting your exposure, get up closer to your subject so that you aren’t taking in so much of the surronds and set your exposure before moving back and taking your photo.
Again, hope this is of some help