Home Forums Let’s Talk Photography "Strictly" Natural Light Photographers Reply To: "Strictly" Natural Light Photographers


I consider myself to be predominantly a natural light photographer. Mainly because I prefer the look, but undeniably because I do not have a studio and do not have much experience using flash, strobes, or studio lighting. I can and do use camera-mounted speedlites when needed, such as wedding receptions. I would like to practice more using them in backlit situations. But I do pride myself in using natural light in the best way possible- I utilize shade, pop-up reflectors, ways to block harsh direct or mottled sun, etc. Many photographers (well, fauxtographers) who call themselves natural light photographers don’t even know how to use natural light correctly- you see the sun spots through trees mottled over their skin, super direct light causing them to squint, really orange skin tones, blown-out, etc. and that is what I consider to be lazy. You have to really pay attention to the light and how it’s hitting the subject.

Studio lighting is one thing I want to learn better. I did learn a little while working as another photographer’s assistant, but she moved away before she could really teach me the finer points of it. Photography is my side job/income right now so I don’t really do sessions during the winter or early spring here, nor do I do anything in a studio.

I think it’s more a matter of being honest about what type of photography you do.

Here is one from a wedding last weekend; I used a Canon Speedlite 430 EX with an attached softbox modifier angled up toward the ceiling. The softbox truly does create a softer look and fewer shadows than without. http://www.flickr.com/photos/roxanne_elise_photography/9648857335/

Here it was very sunny, as you can tell from the background. I had her mom hold a blanket up to the right of the frame to block the direct sunlight. As you can see, there was still a small amount showing on her dress below her waist, but it wasn’t enough to distract me. http://www.flickr.com/photos/roxanne_elise_photography/9257862907/