Let's Talk About Light

Let's Talk About Light

As you probably know, I’ve built my career out of shooting with natural and available light. There is something about the simplicity of capturing meaningful photographs with nothing but a camera and lens that really speaks to my soul. Like with the image above, even though it's captured in the middle of the day, I like how it feels... and equally as important, the client loved it!


In my workshops, when I teach how to shoot natural light, some of my students have a tough time creating different looks. They struggle because can't “control” the situation like you can in the studio. No longer able to swap out a background, change the light intensity, quality, color... they get frustrated. Yet, I encourage them to think creatively and to explore how simply moving around can make all the difference in the world. 

Like in these three examples from a recent shoot. This was a lookbook shoot for one of my favorite clients. We were shooting during the middle of the day in the client’s front yard. The light and location weren’t great, but for me, that didn’t matter at all. Because I’ve come to learn that all you need to do is move around. All three of these shots were captured a few steps apart and they all provided completely different looks. 

So the next time you are out shooting, try to do the same. Rather than asking yourself whether the light is good or bad, embrace what it is and then move around. Explore how you can capture and convey so many different feelings and moods by simply stepping into, and sometimes away from, the light. 

Chris Orwig

5 Steps for Capturing Better Portraits

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