Just a quick demonstration of what type of photos you can achieve by playing with different windlight and graphic settings.
From left to right:
1. This is my “default” windlight setting, which is shown with advanced lighting disabled. It’s just a simple windlight created to optimize the avatar’s appearance without shadows.
2. This is that same windlight with advanced lighting (shadows) enabled.
3. This is a windlight that was created specifically to cast shadows on the avatar’s face in a flattering way when advanced lighting is enabled.
Direction matters! When creating (or downloading) new windlights, take note of which direction your avatar is facing so you can achieve the best results no matter where you are taking the picture. My downloadable windlights are created with my avatar facing South because that just happens to be the direction my platform faces.
To see the compass points, create a box and click over to “rotate” on the edit menu. When you rotate an item in-world a compass will be shown, marking off the directions. :) It also helps to use a pose stand when creating windlights so you can be sure you’re facing whichever direction you’d like.
After downloading windlights, you’ll want to install the XML documents here (pc users):
Username / AppData / Roaming / SecondLife / user_settings / windlight / skies
I hope these tips have been helpful! I personally enjoy creating and sharing windlight settings and there are tons of them around that can be downloaded and installed. Strawberry Singh has put together a great list of them here.