How to Use Natural Light in Fashion Photography

 Natural light can play a large role in the quality of a photo. It can make the photo appear more vibrant and alive. It can also eliminate the need for a flash.

Avoid Direct Sunlight

Although this rule applies to all aspects of photography, it is especially important to avoid bright light which occurs in the middle of the day. It can wash out the colors of the fashions or even the models face. If you are under a time constraint, consider shooting in the shade of a tree or another object. The best time to shoot is either early morning or late in the afternoon, when the sun begins to set into the horizon.

Avoid Bright Colors

When shooting during natural lighting conditions, it is best to avoid extremely bright articles of clothing. As stated above, if the light hits the clothes at a certain angle, the clothing will appear too bright, washing out the photograph and the model wearing the fashions. When using natural light, neutral colors work the best because they work with the natural light to add to soft beauty and elegance to the photo.

Shoot Indoors

When shooting indoors, allow the sunlight to wash into the room through soft drapes. This will prevent too much light from getting though. The drapes will act as a filter so that the harshest of rays will not come through the windows. If you are doing for a bright look, open the windows and drapes but do not attempt to illuminate everything in the room as the picture may come out too harsh.

Use Mirrors

When shooting indoors and no natural light is available, the next best thing to do is to bounce artificial light off of many parts of the room. Use mirrors to bounce the colors off of each other to provide a bright lighting environment.

Change Angles

When you shoot an object from the front, the harsh light casts down upon their face, producing a less than flattering look. Shooting from the side gives a new angle and allows the viewer of the photo to see less harsh light shining upon the model.

Avoid Fluorescent Lighting

This is the same lighting that is used in department stores. While it is a cheaper option in terms of electricity, it can sometimes produce less than pleasing pictures. Have you ever noticed when you go to the store and try on make-up, it looks different in the store than it does at home? This is due to the difference in lighting from your home and the store. By incorporating quality lighting, you will get the best shot available.

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