I always start by observing the natural light available in the scene. I take note of the direction, intensity, and quality of light. Basically I am looking for the sun, we may not see it but it’s there somewhere.
I pay attention to the quality of light. Hard light creates well-defined shadows and sharp contrasts, while soft light is diffused and produces more gentle transitions. The type of light can influence the mood and atmosphere of the photograph and plays a huge part of where I decide to place you.
The time of day plays a crucial role in the quality and characteristics of available light. I prefer shooting during the “golden hour,” which is the hour after sunrise or before sunset when the light is warm and soft. But I must also consider other times of the day when the light may be more or less flattering, so it might mean an earlier or later shoot.
The direction of light determines how it falls on the subject. I choose the direction of light based on the desired effect I want and how it and how it interacts with my client. After all, I want clients to look and feel amazing.
Working with natural light
Observation and Awareness:
I have a keen sense of observation and am aware of the available light in their surroundings. I can identify the quality, direction, and intensity of light, and understand how it interacts with my subjects and the environment.
Timing and Planning:
I am skilled in using natural light and know the optimal times of day for specific lighting conditions. I try to plan my shoots around the golden hour or other favourable lighting situations, taking into account the angle of the sun and the desired mood they want to capture.
Adaptation and Flexibility:
Natural light is constantly changing, whether due to the movement of the sun, clouds, or other environmental factors. I can adapt and adjust my shooting techniques, composition, and camera settings to make the most of the available light at any given moment.
Exposure and Metering:
Understanding how to meter and properly expose for different lighting situations is crucial when working with natural light. I know how to measure the intensity of the light and make informed exposure decisions.
Modifying and Enhancing Light:
While I primarily rely on natural light, I also know how to modify and enhance it. I understand how to manipulate the available light to achieve my desired effect, whether it’s softening harsh sunlight or adding a touch of fill light to a shadowed area.
Consistency and Replication:
I consistently find and work with natural light to achieve consistent results across my work. I can replicate lighting setups in different locations and adapt my techniques to various shooting conditions.
Creativity and Artistic Vision:
I go beyond just finding natural light; I use it as a tool to enhance my creative vision. By integrating natural light into my compositions, I can create interesting shadows and highlights, and utilise the unique qualities of light to convey emotion and tell a story.
I naturally have an intuitive understanding of light, but still had to develop the skill of finding and working with natural light. It takes practice, experimentation, and an understanding of how light behaves. Over time I have refined my ability to harness the power of natural light and create compelling images.
Why I Prefer Natural Light
Authenticity and Mood:
Natural light has a unique quality that can create a more genuine and organic feel in my photographs. It helps capture the scene as it appears naturally, enhancing the authenticity of the subject and the overall mood of the image, creating a sense of connection and realism.
Soft and Flattering Illumination:
Natural light, especially during the golden hour (early morning or late afternoon), tends to be softer and diffused. This softness can produce gentle shadows, even lighting, and a flattering glow on the subject’s face, resulting in a more natural and pleasing appearance.
Shooting with natural light allows me to work with the ever-changing conditions and environments. I will take advantage of the available light in different locations, seasons, and weather conditions, resulting in a diverse range of looks and moods. Natural light always provides unexpected and unique opportunities for creative compositions and dramatic effects.
Natural light portraits often incorporate the surroundings and environmental elements. The interaction between the subject, natural light, and the environment can add depth, context, and visual interest to the image, telling a more comprehensive story.
Simplified Setup and Mobility:
Natural light portraits do not require extensive equipment or setup. I can work more freely without the need for studio lights, modifiers, or power sources. This simplicity offers me greater mobility and flexibility, allowing for spontaneous on-location shoots. It is also less daunting for my camera shy clients, walking into a studio set up full of lighting rigs can be so scary, as it’s not a familiar environment.
A Lifestyle Brand Shoot using Natural Light
If you really don’t like having your photo taken, a lifestyle brand shoot using natural light could work for you. The shoot is in a location you know and love, you will know me very well come shoot day, so no turning up to someone you have never met. There is no pressure of a studio setting with all the lights and props that can make you feel really uneasy.
I understand the feeling of pure dread, and I can help you face your fear and show up. You are beautiful, I can tell your story and show your potential clients how fabulous you are.
I offer a free 30 min discovery call, where we can get to know each other. Please do talk to me about your fears and anxiety over having your photo taken, I promise I can help.