10 Tips for Making Natural Light Portraits

One of the most important things to consider if you are planning a shoot outdoors, is the time of day at which you shoot. I advise against working in the middle of the day, because it will be extremely difficult to work with the bright direct sunlight and you’ll find it difficult to avoid over exposing your images.

Instead, consider working slightly earlier or later in the day, so up until mid morning or after mid afternoon, this will mean you have sufficient light to work with, but it won’t be too strong. Alternatively, you could try working on an overcast or cloudy day. This might sound like a bad idea, but in actual fact, the colds act as a diffuser and means that you can work throughout the day with a consistent light source.

Remember your lighting basics. Harsh or hard light creates dramatic shadows. If that’s not what you’re going for, you may want to have the subject face the light directly. Soft light can make things look flatter, but allows you to worry less about losing detail in bright highlights or dark shadows.

If you’re working indoors, you’ll want as much light to be entering the room as possible. If you know your location, determine what time of day offers the best window light by figuring out which way the windows face (north, south, east or west).

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