I met Bianca through common friends a couple of years ago, and she's been a regular modelesque friend whom I'd shoot on a regular basis. She used to model in Barcelona, so you could see the girl has experience in posing. She has been quite the subject of my lighting experiments ever since. Good thing she's game enough to be the pretty guinea pig. Hehehe.

It's quite hard to give a tutorial on this one since these were all shot with natural light. I only had 1-2 reflectors on hand when we did this shoot. But if there are any tips I could share from this:

Know the time of day you are shooting. The sun shifts (ain't that the truth), but being aware of it is another case especially if you're too engrossed in the shoot. It's not like your studio strobes where you could have your lights steady. Even though I did the same workflow for both images, the amount and quality of light is still apparent on the 2nd set, which I think is the better of the two.

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Hunting for diffused light. Now this is easier said than done, but you have to be observant in the location you're in. Find natural bounces and diffusion in the area that soften the light. White interiors, curtains, etc... are some tell tale areas where you could get soft light.

  • Hunting for harsh light. Now this for me is a double-edged sword. Either it's the best light source or the worst, depending on the direction it is hitting your model. Personal taste for me is having harsh light hitting from an angle behind the model, giving that backlit feel, and then counter-acting it with reflectors. It gives a good high light at the same time, when I blow it out (by measuring on the model), I get to wash out unwanted details in the back.
  • Get what you want and move on. As much as this is one of the most laid back shoots I had, you still have to be decisive to save everyone else the time. Natural light could only provide so much good lighting throughout the day, so making the best of it means deciding on the spot if the layout is working or not. When awesome light came into the first layout we did earlier in the day, I just had to compel Bianca to go back to her first outfit so that we could get better light for the shot.

I would have to admit, I never really learned how to shoot with natural light until quite recently. It was a skill set I didn't cultivate since I worked alot with strobes. But natural light has good charm when harnessed correctly, and gives that candid feel.

Production Credits

  • Make-up: Jet Babas
  • Styling: Model's Own
  • Model: Bianca Mabanta



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