How To Photograph Real Estate and Vacation Rentals

Strobes vs. Natural Light Portraits in a Studio Setting

Sometimes when I'm shooting in a studio setting I find myself using strobes even when the shot doesn't lend itself to being lit with artificial light. After all, I'm inside and it just seems natural to use flash. That is of course until I stumbled across this behind the scenes video of Calgary based photographer Nathan Elson explaining some of his techniques for using both natural light and strobes in a studio setting.  

Part of what draws me to using flash over natural light is that I love having complete control over the light.  Being able to shape light no matter the situation has always been appealing but sometimes it’s good to take a step back and see the light as it is, and shape it to create some really stunning imagery. I personally love to play with harsh shadows and I cant wait to try Nathan's technique for creating the image below.

Hopefully the above video sparked some inspiration with you as it did with me. If you want to see more amazing photography by Nathan, make sure you go follow @nathanelson on Instagram.

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9 Comments
Adam Chandler's picture

Cool shots! I don't understand, though, why models always seem to look pissed off or emotionless...? I tend to connect less with images that don't capture some sort of life in the subject.

LA M's picture

It's a fashion/beauty thing...something about looking "fierce" lol. That's why I got out of that stuff..too many sour faces and awkward poses.

Felix Wu's picture

Just a different kind of beauty. You will find lots of life in those department store posters or catalogue lol

michael andrew's picture

The music...

Nathan Elson's picture

Huge thanks for the feature!

Deleted Account's picture

In this type of "tutorials" it would be nice to see the pictures before heavy retouching to get the idea what the light is doing.

Nathan Elson's picture

There isn't any 'heavy' retouching. Some dodge / burn to even out the skin and some healing brush for any blemishes. Professional makeup goes a long way in helping to avoid computer time.

The lighting remains the same.

Deleted Account's picture

Nathan, we may have different definition for 'heavy' ;)
Nothing against the retouching though. But I think it would be good for those who are learning lighting and perhaps consider baying equipment, to see the images before D&B etc.

stir photos's picture

Inspiration sparked ;)