Natural Light Portraiture – with reflected fill-in light

Make your natural light portraiture work

Love photography? Then natural light portraiture is something you will try at some time. In the video below we will see a few tips that overcome some of the lighting issues photographers encounter when starting these portraits.

For photographers just starting out, natural light portraiture is often about snapping shots of friends. Actually, portraiture as an art form in its own right. Why? Because the human eye is incredibly well tuned to viewing the human face. Get it wrong and it is blatantly obvious!

Snaps often result in a flat and poorly sculpted face. Bad or flat light leaves the face looking drawn or sick. Worse, it can look as if it is almost featureless. The way to get around this is to use natural soft light. The best light for this is during the golden hour. The low light will mean a big contrast between bright sky light and the side of the body away from the light. The answer is to use a reflector to fill in the darker areas of the face. Reflectors are cheap and available in lots of photography suppliers. You can easily make your own reflector from white art board too.


In this video photographer Karl Taylor shows you how to use natural light and a reflector to take a good natural light portrait. Watch out for his five key points. Enjoy!
Seen on YouTube: GreatPhotographyTips External link - opens new tab/page

Remember these?

  1. Communication
  2. Lens
  3. Aperture
  4. Lighting
  5. Environment

Key points worth remembering.

By Damon Guy (author and Photokonnexion editor)

Damon Guy - Netkonnexion

Damon Guy (Netkonnexion)

Damon is a writer-photog and editor of this site. He has run some major websites, a computing department and a digital image library. He started out as a trained teacher and now runs training for digital photographers.
See also: Editors ‘Bio’.

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