It's been a while since I did a portrait shoot using only natural light, but with the lovely spring weather we've been having I ditched the strobes and headed out to meet Miahh with only my trusty Canon 6d, my 85mm 1.8 and a collapsible 5-in-1 reflector.
New Walk is one of my favourite places to take photos around the city centre, and for a natural light shoot it is ideal. The pedestrianised street has some lovely leading lines and using a fast aperture you can blur out the bins and street signs leaving only milky bokeh. The patch of grass around Leicester's New Walk Museum is full of areas of shade, and at this time of year the sun sets towards town meaning that, as well as acting as a backlight, you can use the cream walls of the museum as a natural reflector, flooding the square with warm, soft light and enabling that shadowless portrait look.
I love shooting with natural light because I feel it removes the technological barrier between photographer and subject. The most important thing in a portrait is the connection between yourself and the model; you can have an innovative 10 light set up, fantastic stylists, hair and make up professionals, and a killer pose, but unless there's emotion coming through the lens, the shot ends up looking lifeless and dull. When you leave the light stands and the flashes at home, not only is your bag MUCH lighter, it also allows you to concentrate on capturing that genuine smile, or fleeting moment when the model laughs. With natural light it's not about creating nice light, but about recognising it.
Spring has truly sprung and I can see myself doing a lot more natural light work over the next couple of months. The beauty dish won't be gathering too much dust however, as this week I'll be doing a swimwear fashion shoot as well as some studio headshots for a modelling agency. If you would like to book a natural light portrait session, you can get in touch with me using our contact page, or by phone on 07999444296.