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  • Writer's pictureleyrephotography


There are plenty of important things that contribute to photography and getting incredible photos. But no other thing is as important as lighting is. Lighting from every angle, in each pose, will affect the character and the mood of the turn out of your photos. Although many photographers have made a beautiful profession of shooting studio portrait photos, other photographers have created unique images using the type of light you can only obtain from nature, natural lighting! Natural lighting photography is known to use the sun as the source of light. And with that, of course, the light from the sun varies depending on the time of day. On a sunny day, the sun will provide full coverage while on a more cloudy day, the clouds give texture and a moody look to the photos. Many photographers gravitate towards a time of day known as “the golden hour”, a time where shortly after the sun rises or shortly before the sun sets, especially during wedding portraits. With the sun behind them, a kiss or a hold, it makes for a beautiful moment to carry on forever. It’s a warm light and not just in the way it feels. It’s beautiful. It’s calming. And it’s better than your mid-day harshness of the sun beating down on you.

Natural light has plenty of benefits to it, to professional photographers and to the ones that are just getting started. Natural photography is affordable. Not everyone can go out and buy really expensive equipment for a photo shoot and there’s no sense in buying expensive equipment when you have the natural lighting outside– for free! Natural lighting also offers a variety of lighting! Natural light photos are going to vary, depending on the time of day they're taken. A photo that’s taken during golden hour will look incredibly different from a photo that’s taken in the middle of the day where it’s the brightest time of the day. And it will absolutely look different at night, where it’s just the moonlight and you’re using a longer shutter speed. You can use natural lighting for portraits, even. I know most people prefer in studio portraits because of the clean, plain backdrop but you can get some really great, professional portraits done outside in natural light. But natural light isn’t just outdoors, you can do indoor natural lighting photography as well. Natural light enters the building, a home, your office, etc. through windows and doors. The great thing about natural light is that sunlight changes colors over the course of the day, meaning the soft light of dawn and dusk will dominate orange and yellows. While the middle of the day will have more blues. Embrace side lighting, one way to limit the harshness of sunlight is to limit its direction! By placing your client indoors, next to a window that is slightly opened, you gain the control over real sunlight and you’re able to prevent any unwanted black lighting or washouts. Any way that you try it, make sure your client is comfortable. You’re allowed to mix natural and artificial lighting, too. It’s all about your skill and developing that skill for future sessions!

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