Meghan Stewart Photography » Jacksonville Florida Award Winning Wedding and Portrait Photographer

Photo Tip Friday – Natural Lighting

Meghan-Stewart-Photography-Peachtree-City-Head-Shot-Photographer_0050.jpgAs you may know, I am a big time lover of natural light! As I like to call it, “yummy” light. You can ask any of my regular clients & they’ll tell you that they know when we’ve found that light. I kind of do a little dance & swoon over what I’m seeing in my camera. It’s one of the best things ever!

Now, it’s also nice to know exactly how to work with light because well, it’s not all the same. Your camera set on automatic isn’t quite as smart as you think it is. If you were to shoot into the light to get that yummy back light look with your camera set on auto you’d get a totally different look than I’d get setting my camera with my own manual settings. I’m telling you, learn manual & you won’t ever go back. I thought we’d walk through a recent session I did & tell you how I got the looks I did & how I had to work with the natural light. Next week we’ll talk about some studio lighting.

Meet Aga. We connect through facebook & planned a sort of head shot session for her around Senoia & for a different look in my studio with some new lights my husband built me. We had a great time chatting & hearing about each other’s lives & what we’re into. I think we’ll be hanging out outside of the photography world for sure! We started out at the library in Senoia where there are great buildings as well as some nice scenery.

Meghan-Stewart-Photography-Peachtree-City-Head-Shot-Photographer_0051.jpgFor the photos above I made sure to tuck Aga into the shade created by the pillar but also get that light in front of her to bounce back onto her face. Look at how soft & dreamy her skin looks. No touch ups, just natural, soft, light.Meghan-Stewart-Photography-Peachtree-City-Head-Shot-Photographer_0053.jpgWith these two on the rock, I knew I could get some of that pretty back lighting I love so much but it was tricky. I had to move myself around a good bit to make sure the light was blocked enough by those trees back there. I may have looked silly doing my little “find the light dance” but we got a great look I think.

Meghan-Stewart-Photography-Peachtree-City-Head-Shot-Photographer_0052.jpgI’ve been wanting to try some new stuff so I actually put Aga into the harsh light  to create some of those deeper shadows. I just had to make sure she looked toward the light so I could get some fo the details of her face. You’ll see more of this type below.
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Meghan-Stewart-Photography-Peachtree-City-Head-Shot-Photographer_0057.jpgSnow is an awesome natural reflector but here it seems too harsh so I just had her spin around to soften the light on her face.

Below you can see me playing with some of those fun shadows on her face. Aga really liked the different look as did I.
Meghan-Stewart-Photography-Peachtree-City-Head-Shot-Photographer_0055.jpg
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Meghan-Stewart-Photography-Peachtree-City-Head-Shot-Photographer_0059.jpgOkay, so here these had great white natural reflectors to work with. As you can see in the photo above the wall she’s leaning on is kind of white so it’s bouncing some nice light off to create that soft dreamy look I love so much. Below, I once again found a spot to get some back lighting & thankfully we had a white building facing us so hello natural reflector! I had to do my crazy little dance to make sure that tree or building blocked just enough light so I could actually see her beautiful face. Now, sometimes it’s fun to let that light flood in & kind of wash away some of the details. It may not be everyone’s favorite but I like it. . .sometimes.
Meghan-Stewart-Photography-Peachtree-City-Head-Shot-Photographer_0065.jpg. . . and the white wall I was talking about. Just FYI most photographers love white walls and rooms.
Meghan-Stewart-Photography-Peachtree-City-Head-Shot-Photographer_0064.jpgBelow is an example of more of that harsh light I’m not too fond of but I like playing with it & creating something more dramatic. Here I wanted to make sure part of Aga’s face was light well so I had her turn just far enough to almost create a light & dark side to her face. We like these & variety is the spice of life right?
Meghan-Stewart-Photography-Peachtree-City-Head-Shot-Photographer_0058.jpg
Meghan-Stewart-Photography-Peachtree-City-Head-Shot-Photographer_0066.jpgMore white wall reflectors above & below!
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Meghan-Stewart-Photography-Peachtree-City-Head-Shot-Photographer_0062.jpgShooting in the little town of Senoia is one of my favorites. I love that the buildings are kind of closer together creating the shadows I need from the harsh sun but also providing great reflectors to create that yummy soft look I like. Also, it’s good to note that I try to shoot around what we photographers call “the golden hour” which is the hour right before sunset. It doesn’t always work out with everyone’s schedule so then I really take into consideration where we’ll shoot looking for those natural reflectors & shade from the harsh light of the sun.
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Meghan-Stewart-Photography-Peachtree-City-Head-Shot-Photographer_0048.jpgThese here were more of just positioning myself in the right place so that the trees would block the hard light streaming in so I could get the look I wanted. Success!
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I hope you’ve enjoyed this first installment of Photo Tip Friday & will be back next week for our studio shots with Aga. I’m pretty stoked about those! If you have questions please feel free to comment below or email me. If you’d be interested in a little beginner class or mentor session I’d be happy to put something together for you! Happy shooting!

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