12 Tips for Natural Light Portraits

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When in Doubt, Use Window Light

Unless it’s completely dark outside, you can use natural light to take outstanding portraits. If your outdoor adventures fail because of weather or a lack of inspiration, use window light. No matter what, it won’t let you down.

Whenever possible, take photos in front of large windows. Unless you’re aiming to take dramatic natural light photos, make sure that at least half of your model’s face is lit. This will ensure that there is no unevenness on their face.

Window light has helped me take some of my favourite portraits. On bright days, I use curtains to create a shadow-making studio. When the sun disappears, I use it as a soft light source. In any scenario, window light makes my subjects’ faces look even, creates a pleasant gradient, and allows me to take classic portraits.

Look for Eye-Catching Backgrounds

Backgrounds that complement your model will look amazing in natural light. If your natural light portraits have no room for backgrounds, consider taking wider shots or creating panoramas. However, you can’t choose a random background and hope for the best. The last thing you want is a collection of gorgeous poses with unflattering backgrounds.

While preparing for your shoot, take your theme into consideration. Are you aiming for a romantic, dreamy, or edgy look? What kind of clothes will your model wear? All of this information will give you a better idea of the backgrounds you should look for.

If you don’t have any specific ideas in mind, simply look for colours. Oftentimes, the best backgrounds for natural light portraits are simply a combination of beautiful tones. You can check out our bokeh tips for some inspiration!

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