Natural light photography? Time to break the rules! I miss the greenery, I miss the scenery.
Somewhere right now in a class full of half awake students.. Someone is telling you natural light photography is a hoax. It's probably a corporate photographer who has spent years and years and years as a strobes and is really competent and proud of what they do. There's about twenty kids, hastily making notes and convincing themselves that natural light photography means they're inexperienced. Today, I tell you the truth.
Abby // Natural Light Photography Golden Eyes...
Memories come back to me in the strangest way. I can remember the early days of sites like Model Mayhem and Deviantart when I was simply trying to get my photos out there. This was before the days when learning to master photography wasn't as simple as taking a course, downloading an E-book or clicking a blog like this one.
This is back when hungry young photographers were shelling out thousands of dollars of month to learn from photographers like Jasmine Star, who made a gracious and beautiful transition from small time photographer, to household glamorous name. If you're a photographer and a self proclaimed boss babe, you've probably got her Instagram passport course in a folder on your desktop that I urge you to actually open. (That's not a plug, and I don't get paid to tell you that, I'm just telling you about where I started really focusing on my brand.)
At the time, I wanted to be the next big name in the portrait photographer community and while I was constantly looking at outdoor studio lights and generators, shaking the shoulders of my personal assistant yelling "We can't keep branding this as natural light photography! We need to go bigger!"
Word to your mother: Learn to walk before you run.
Last week, I sat in a room full of fresh faces, (like this amazing 10 year experienced model transitioning into the photography world) and it inevitably became an educational course on the most popular equipment from speedlites to a chance to whip out my prime lens. Warily, beginners began eyeing their own camera bodies, staring with disdain at the kit lens on their Canon, an 18-55 and I started to think.. Isn't that were I started?
Being a victim of home robbery and having so much of my equipment stolen, (not to mention coming home from a hospital stay where I was pronounced unfit, unworthy, and unknowingly mentally handicapped) I started to venture back through the images in my mind.. The many models I'd worked with over the years.. When was the last time.. I shot something great with a kit lens, with nothing but the universe's given light to guide me?
The year was 2016, the Model was Chicago beauty Abby, and the lens...
Well.. This is embarrassing. As I look at the metadata (If you're a Mac user and you don't know, you can see all of your camera settings by tapping get info), the lens was actually a 24mm, small in size, badass in aperture, and the wide angle you swore was too tricky to use...
When I say, this was one adventurous natural light shoot, we were under the shady depths of a forest preserve parking lot, and I really believed in my heart of hearts, we were in depths of some forsaken safari land.. We'd spent an hour carrying fake sunflowers with no real plan at hand.. Abby, choosing forest green attire, we broke the rules and I fell in love with it. Natural light photography is a challenge. Mastering it is about manipulating shadows, posing your subject so you can fully see the beauty of every inch, and when it comes to posting to social media, you're proud to hop that no filter hashtag train..
Natural Light Photography Teaches You To Practice Posing Your Subject and Capturing More than Just the "Limelight."
Abby was a perfect model, patient and posturing herself to deliver nothing but pure face. If you met this model, you understand that modeling isn't just about looking and feeling good, it's about enjoying yourself. I can remember laughing out loud going "Why did you make that face?" but snapping shots realizing, these were candids that would be sitting on the desk of my office mansion in the sky.. We started playing a game of red light green light... Each time the shutter would go off, I'd quickly rush to capture whatever expression she delivered, and eventually the session stopped being about fussing over the moving overcast and the disappearing sunlight, and suddenly became the reason photography became fun in the first place.
Wanna Explore Natural Light and Flex the Muscles it takes to make that memory?
Being your untraditional photographer, I'm not gonna force you to smile. Where's the fun in that? Of course you want a portfolio full of poses and feeling, but you also want a gallery full of memories to show your friends at the next get together.
Also, follow this vibrant model on Instagram, rocking the world with her TikTok antics and showing you that these faces.. That aint nothing but an Abby G thing!
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