Natural Lighting for Beautiful Boudoir

September 16, 2014

How to Take Advantage of Natural Light 

In Beautiful Boudoir photography, if you really want to control light, there are few things better than having a continuous lighting rig in a studio. But let’s be serious. Given the choice between the best artificial light and the best natural light, every Boudoir or Portrait photographer will choose natural, hands down.

Many people have tried to argue with me about this, until they see the results. Because let’s be real,  there are no artificial light sources which compare with the radiance of natural light. Plus, properly using natural light is one of the best ways to flatter your Boudoir clients. There’s a reason why I originally chose my 5500 square foot daylight studio in Los Angeles – the wide veranda windows facing north and west light along my big white walls gives me the most beautiful soft light possible. This gorgeous light gives me the versatility I need to make any women look amazing.

One of the things people don’t like with natural light is that you have to be at its mercy. As the sun moves, the light changes, and sometimes this will work to your benefit, and sometimes, it will make it impossible to shoot. Fortunately for me, living in Los Angeles, I don’t have to worry much about rainy days – but for many photographers across the country, dealing with dark stormy days can be difficult.

Despite the obstacles, you can still use natural light to your advantage. Because not only is it a fuller, more flattering source of light, it doesn’t require any expensive setups. All you need is a window, a beautiful subject, and maybe a reflector, and you can make magic happen. Or, obviously, you can just go outside.

If you plan to shoot outside, there are certain types of day which mean better light for capturing your subjects. Generally, between 10 AM and 3 PM, when the sun is high overhead, is the worst time to schedule a Boudoir session. The sun will cause harsh shadows to fall. Shooting outside this window, during the golden hour or just before or after, will diffuse the light and give you much more freedom.

So, when it comes down to it, I will always choose natural light in my Boudoir shoots when I can. The sun is the most magical light source, and although finicky sometimes, produces the best results. There really is no argument.

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