Bathing in Light | Before & After Portraiture

Using my studio space is very interesting when considering light. I only shoot with natural light and my studio is a bit tricky with that light so I have to be creative sometimes for sure. I have 3 walls I can use but one is all windows that can really only be used as a backdrop because directly across from that wall of windows is a space where tons of equipment is being stored....not exactly what you'd call a nice backdrop. But I quickly realized how all of this was to my benefit. Depending on the time of day and what the sun is up to, if I photograph on one wall I get a nice side light. If it's a very sunny day I get fierce sun rays that can really take a photo to a whole new level. If I shoot with the windows to my client's back I get this soft, ethereal, warm light just bathing all over her.

I usually like to use my 50mm in this light because that lens just soaks up that light and causes the photo to look milky, buttery and with a delicious warmth that really makes the photo glow. Both the photo above and below were taken right below a giant window and you can see a difference in each. The one above was taken with my 70-200mm and the one below was taken with my 50mm. I love the differences in them.

We just purchased the D800 specifically because it is a wonderful camera for severe cropping, if you need it, without losing any quality of the image as it's a 36 mega pixel. I am also going to rent the 85mm and see what fun I can have with that as well.

But the point here is to always challenge yourself with light. The fun thing about natural light is that it is never the same twice. For some that would be a bit daunting but I absolutely love it. Light drives everything about my sessions and it is one of the most important factors for any photo I take. Natural light challenges me in many ways...some creatively, some problem-solving. Regardless it can never really be controlled. It can be directed, enhanced and even tricked....but never controlled. How can you not respect that??

And a special Thank You to Renee Supra over at team Beauty Justified for rockin' out A's awesome hair and makeup. The braid made it Sister! ;-)

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