Golden hour desert landscape.

what is natural light photography?

Natural Light Photography is as direct as it sounds—it’s using natural or ambient and direct light from the sun. Now, I’ve seen so much debate articles with natural light photography. The most common one being that natural light photographers don’t or refuse to learn how to use flash or artificial lighting. I’m here to tell you different! There’s rewards and challenges in almost every style of photography. Photography or any form of art is so subjective. One thing I can tell you is that I’m a Natural Light Photographer who has a few extra gadgets in her bag filled with external flashes and reflectors. Although, these are hardly ever used in my sessions I know how and have used them when needed.

It’s challenging when you’re working with natural light because the weather and the sun are so unpredictable. You can book a session in advance and the day of the shoot it’s suddenly overcast or windy. This is one of the challenges as a natural light photographer since we’re always chasing light and typically shoot during golden hour. Golden hour is the hour before sunset or after sunrise where the sky acts like a big soft box to capture those dreamy beautiful images we all adore.

One way I manipulate natural light is by finding natural reflectors that can bounce the light in the direction I want. I find these by using neutral toned sidewalks, pavements, walls, buildings, etc. Since I like to shoot simple without any fancy gadgets, this is the best way for me to use my surroundings to light up the shadows in my subjects face.

Secondly, I manipulate natural light by finding areas where the light is diffused or filtered. For example, finding shaded areas or trees where the light isn’t as intense.

If you take the time and put in the effort to practice and understand light, you’ll learn to appreciate natural light photography. I love shooting in natural light because my final images are soft and warm which is my cup of tea! Whichever style of photography you gravitate towards, be open minded about other styles as you never know, you might learn something new!


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