Mastering Natural Light Photography

In this issue, you’re reading exceptional advice on shaping light with strobes, softboxes and speedlights. But what if you’re limited to available, natural light? There are unique challenges. What you gain in reduced gear, setup and purchases, you lose in flexibility. Yet there’s a distinctive beauty in using only the sun. With care, it can produce timeless imagery.

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Creative Lighting for Self-Portraits

Self-portraits are not easy. They’re hard mentally and emotionally for myriad reasons, and they’re hard physically (especially if you don’t use an assistant). Lighting doesn’t have to be difficult, though. On the contrary, lighting your self-portrait should be a fun challenge. I’m going to outline some ways I’ve lit my own self-portraits to give you a good foundation.

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3 Go-To Lighting Setups for High-Volume Headshots

My first paying gig as a photographer was shooting headshots of doctors at a medical convention, packed into a tiny corner of a trade show booth. Back then I didn’t quite understand the impact that type of situation would have on my methods of lighting. Every technique I developed over the next decade was based around learning to shoot a great, professional portrait quickly and in just about any location. I’ve since refined the process, and have found that most of my lighting for high-volume headshots can be categorized into three main techniques.

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Choosing the Best Off-Camera Lighting for Your Budget

We are currently going through a lighting revolution. Off-camera flash technology is progressing quickly. The technology for low-noise, high-ISO sensors has improved over the past five years. Flashes are becoming less expensive and coming with more features. If you are not using off-camera flash, there has never been a better time to start. Here are a few of my recommendations for equipment.

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Light Through a Wedding Day

If you’re overwhelmed by the technical side of lighting, don’t fear. You can try these simple approaches to wedding day lighting. As with every part of the wedding day, I apply in-studio lighting techniques to my photographs using my keylight (the main light), hair light (light that separates the subject from the background) and fill light (fills in the shadows). The mood I want to create changes throughout the day as the story I am telling changes, so my light sources vary from natural to artificial.

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Mastering the Golden Hour

Why do we covet those last few minutes of light at the end of the day? Obviously, the golden light is much easier to work with. It’s the beauty and versatility of the light that we cherish. Most importantly, it provides us more options for creatively capturing our couple’s love story. The key to successful wedding portraiture at golden hour is flexibility.

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