The Importance of Natural Light

Commercial photography covers a multitude of areas; from architecture to products and portraits.

Yet whilst my day to day work can vary dramatically as I make my way up and down Suffolk, one thing always remains consistent… my love of natural light.

My style as a photographer is typified by the constant presence of natural light – helping to set the scene for creative, candid photography that can really help a business, person or scene stand out.

Getting Light ‘Right’

Light is one of the most important aspects of photography. Understanding it (and the effects it can have on your imagery) can make the difference between an image that is distinctly average and utterly spectacular.

It can take years to master, even for professional photographers, and while there may be a number of tools available to ‘aid’ photographers when it comes to creating the right light – from fluorescent bulbs and flashes to umbrellas and diffusers – there really isn’t anything that can beat natural light, in my opinion.

Natural light photography, Ipswich, Suffolk

Natural light: casting a heavenly glow on a typical scene

Natural light can however, change as quickly as the wind – day by day, hour by hour. This is why you will often hear stories of me awaking at the crack of dawn, wandering around at dusk or whizzing off when the sun comes up to start or continue a shoot.

But this is all part and parcel of a professional photographer’s job – in order to convey the right image or message, the quality of the natural light – harsh or soft, warm or cool – has to be right.

Nothing artificial here…

When working with natural light, there are therefore a number of considerations I need to make.

From finding the right position from which to shoot, or which time of day to start, to understanding how each little change to my camera settings will affect the end result. And don’t even get me started on the issue of white balance when it comes to natural light versus studio lit – more about this in a future blog!

I’m sure that many people, other photographers included, would question whether this additional time taken to manipulate natural light is really worth it – but, from the range of positive testimonials I have received from clients, I’m delighted to say it really does pay off.

Artificial light can dramatically alter the mood of an image and can often damage the authenticity of a subject – something that is hugely important when it comes to portraying the right impression.

This is applicable whether shooting a building or a person:

Using Natural Light Ipswich Photographer

Setting the scene for a relaxing place to enjoy an evening beverage.

 

Using natural light for corporate headshots

This was taken using only the light from the window the client was facing.

Plus, when it comes to headshots like above – shooting with natural light means no intimidating big lights shining into your face… resulting in much more relaxed, natural and candid images.

The Natural Light ‘Mood Stone’

Ever wondered why some of the most loved images are the most ‘dramatic’? It’s all down to mood.

Take the below photo of one of Suffolk’s most famous landmarks as an example. This is a firm favourite, not just with me, but those who have bought prints of my work – in fact it’s my best selling picture and it is all down to the natural light:

Suffolk landscape photography using natural light

It’s all about the natural light… one of my favourite photos.

Helping your subject to ‘stand out’

When photographing a product, you would be forgiven for assuming that there is always a need for some form of artificial light source in order to highlight key features.

This may be the case for the majority of product photography, particularly products shot on a white background for ecommerce purposes, Etsy, Amazon and the like.

However when seeking more of a ‘lifestyle’ feel to showcase your products, natural light can often give you just the look you need; as in the two examples below…

Creating a mood with natural light

An extremely cosy-looking pup!

 

Natural Light Gallery

I hope you will agree with me on the huge importance of natural light – I’ve included some more examples for to browse through in the below gallery:

If you think that this style of photography would work well for you or your business, I’d love to talk! Get in touch with me on 07775 851827 for an informal, no-obligation chat.

 


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