Mark Wallace Discusses Shooting Portraits in Natural Light

The word portrait often comes associated with studio and lights. But let us not forget the fun in shooting with natural light. This quick article is about the importance of understanding the light when you are making natural light portraits.

This video comes from Adorama TV as Mark Wallace explores the fun in the process of shooting natural light portraits. The idea is pretty simple. Light is just everywhere and all you have to do is look around, pay attention and understand its course. The trick is not to look for a location that has the lighting that you are looking for but to clinch the situation, trace the light around your surrounding and use it to your advantage.

For instance, let us assume that you are alongside a building that has good openings for light to fall through. Your plan is to place a model in the middle of the architecture and shoot. The incoming light is often filtered and diffused through structures before falling on your subject. The light and shadow play, in this case, will be interesting to observe. Channeling the direction of the light, you can make some amazing portraits that create a contrasting impact. Likewise, if you are shooting in a park you can look for a good shade with a wider source of light from behind the camera. You can eye for reflective surfaces, or window light or so much more that exists out there that complements the available light. Also remember, the light intensity is can change at any point of time according to the weather. So keeping few pre-planned tricks up the sleeve helps along with embracing the situation. Take a look at the video for a full run on how a receptive mind and an observant eye aids in making natural light portraits.

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4 Comments

Leigh Miller's picture

Wallace is awesome...I think he's in the wind now riding the world on a BMW motorcycle. #Photography.Goals.Man.

The model is awesome too...

You mean that woman with the lovely hair and gorgeous eyes in the complementary dress? I hardly noticed her!

Back to the article though, I will try to recall these fairly simple tips the next time I feel defeated by harsh, angled sunlight.

I normally like Mark Wallace's tutorials BUT this is not really one of his better ones imo. He did not cover all the concepts he mentioned at the beginning of the video. If the weather changes, then finish the tutorial another day. This felt rushed and shortchanged. Backgrounds look too busy too imo, despite the fact he said he was shooting at 1.4.