Useful Tips for Shooting Natural Light Portraits

Shooting portraits using natural light means paying careful attention to how that light is behaving and how it falls upon your subject. This insightful video gives you a series of tips on how to make the most of a wide variety of shooting conditions.

Photographer Julia Trotti has established a reputation for producing beautiful, dreamy images using simple locations blessed with some gorgeous Australian sunshine. In this video, she runs through a number of tips on how to ensure that you use the light to get excellent results that aren’t compromised by harsh or unwanted shadows or blown-out highlights that might take attention away from your subject and undermine your image.

It’s worth noting that Trotti’s final tip regarding backlighting can be made much easier by using a high-quality lens. Firstly, while a drop in contrast as a result of shooting straight into the light can create an ethereal feel to an image, lesser lenses can take it too far and also produce orbs and ghosting that you might not notice until you get to the editing stage. Secondly, less expensive lenses can struggle with autofocus, again a consequence of the drop in contrast, making it a challenge to produce consistently sharp images. You don’t need an insanely expensive lens to get good results, but good glass can make the process far easier.

What other tips would you add to this video? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Andy Day's picture

Andy Day is a British photographer and writer living in France. He began photographing parkour in 2003 and has been doing weird things in the city and elsewhere ever since. He's addicted to climbing and owns a fairly useless dog. He has an MA in Sociology & Photography which often makes him ponder what all of this really means.

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