How To Use Natural Lighting In Fashion Photo Shoots?
Fashion Photography
September 23, 2019

A good fashion photograph will be considered the one where there is a right balance of movement and bright light in it. Having a studio or flash lightings is always great for fashion photography but sometimes you might have to work under limited budget or sometimes natural lighting is going to help you create that extra effect on the photograph.


When you use natural light there is hardly  any control you can have on this lighting unlike studio lights. Here the sun and clouds play a very major role in creating lights and  shadows in your photograph. In this article I will help you to understand how you can use natural light for your next fashion photoshoot.


Here Is A Complete Guide For Using Natural Light In Fashion Photography


Position Of The Sun:





Sun is a very powerful source of light. It will help you to brighten a photograph and at the same time it will also destroy your picture with too much light in it. Hence knowing the position of the sun is very important.  


The best time to shoot under the sun is when it is either at the left or right side of the model. That is, two hours after sunrise and two hours hours before sunset.


 After the sunrise you will get some nice soft light coming in the frame which will be appropriate enough to create shadow around the model. And before sunset is well the golden hour. Which is the best time of the day to use natural light for fashion photography.


Avoid shooting when the position of the sun is above your head.or you will have to deal with some extremely harsh bright light.


Shooting Under Shade:


If you couldn’t get time to check the position of the sun. then the next best way to shoot fashion in natural light is looking for some shade. Like under a tree or a passage between the roads or roof of a public place. 


You can shoot under the shade at any time of the day, just the difficulty you might face is lack of focus light around the model. To solve this, you can use a reflector to divert light on the model. You will not precisely get focus light, but the widel will be overall lit.


To shoot in shade and natural light, dark in color fashion outfits are the best.


Using Mirrors:





The best thing about using natural light for fashion photography is the evenness and consistency of light in the frame. And if you don’t manage to capture such a fashion photograph under the sun, then let me tell you, you can create the same effect shooting indoors.


For this you will have to use studio spotlights and mirrors around the perimeter of the  model. The mirrors here will help to reflect and evenly spread the light across the room just like you are shooting outdoors in natural light.


This is just a great trick creating the natural look indoors, while the nature is being unsupportive with your fashion shoot timings.


Shoot Indoors:





Shooting fashion photography under natural light, does not only mean that you have to step outside. You can use the sunlight to your benefit while you are indoors as well.  


Look for big windows around you which will allow a lot of light to enter inside the room. Then make your model stand on the opposite or diagonal side of the window. This will make all the light fall on the model and brighten the photograph properly. 


While if you make the model stand against the window, then the light will be blocked making the picture darker. You can also play around with the curtains on the window to create interesting light and shadow patterns in the frame.




Fashion photography is as creative as you can get. So to get the best out of yourself, try everything you can.


If you are a beginner, then let me tell you, there is no need to wait for the perfect light and studio setup. You can take your camera and begin your fashion photography on the street under the natural light of the sun.


To get more such fashion photography tips and inspiration, read more blogs here.


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