Natural light is popular and has been divisive at times, but when used properly, it can lead to some beautiful images. Here are six tips to help you take better portraits without artificial light.
I have shot a lot of natural light portraits over the years, and in fact, I have shot entire series using only natural light. While I would always be suspicious of photographers who only shoot natural light, not every image needs flashgun or strobes to get the right look. Today, most of my shoots require me to setup studio lights, but I still love to take natural light portraits where possible.
Rather than reiterate one of Emily Teague's tips, I'll offer my own here, which is related to some in the video: use your surroundings. One of my favorite ways to use my surroundings in natural light photography is to find something to bounce the sun's light off of. This could be a white wall, a window, or a large piece of plastic; whatever it is, it can allow for more complex light and works brilliantly when combined with backlighting. Furthermore, you can use this with more interesting shapes, with obstructions between the reflector and the model, or with colors to make the image more interesting.
Emily Teague is a great photographer who many can learn from and this video is another example of that. Although Emily and I did bump into each other at an airport before the world started ending, I have no vested interest her, just an appreciation for the good work!
What's your best tip for shooting natural light portraits?