It’s really easy to say “I’m a natural light photographer” when you are uncomfortable with working with different types of lighting.
And, honestly, most clients wouldn’t even know the difference or pick up on your lack of experience (or lack of confidence) with different types of lighting.
But, here’s the deal - you can’t always stick to natural light photography because you become extremely limited to your weather and lighting conditions that you are given. For example, most photographers know that the sweet time slot to shoot photos is sunrise or “golden hour”, which is around sunset.
With my shoot with Brooke, I came across this natural light dilemma. We planned on shooting closer to sunset but when we got to Grand Haven Beach it was extremely windy and cold AND the sun was still too high for my comfort.
We decided to start shooting anyways because I feel like it takes a little time for everyone to warm up to each other (since we never shot together) and we were feeling out what and where would look best to shoot.
I had the 85mm 1.2 from Canon on me and it is my favorite lens. It makes all of my images have a magazine quality sense to it. Brooke is a pro and I got so many fantastic shots with her. We tried to shoot backlit with the sun behind her since I was comfortable shooting like that and we got some great shots.
However, I did feel that because I was exposing for the sky behind her I felt like her face was very underexposed. So, I decided to step out of my comfort zone and shoot with the sun behind me which gave it much more directional light to work with.
Directional light and harsh shadows can be very scary since I didn’t know how my post processing process would like. But, sometimes, you gotta work with what you got. And to be honest, the directional photos from this set are my favorite.
I feel like directional light and the shadows gave the photos so much more drama and mood to the photo. It also really helped me stay quick on my toes and learn how to adjust my settings quickly to the lighting situations which comes in handy when I shoot weddings.
So, get out there and practice shooting with all types of lighting so you can get accustomed to the lighting whether it’s all natural or you use flash. It’s always great to get of your comfort zone so that you can get prepared for your next gig.