What is Natural Light Anyway?

A proclaimed natural light photographer I am.  But what does that really mean?  Now I am sure the definition may be different for a lot of people, so we’ll be safe here and stick with what it means to me.  And let’s just start at the beginning with the fact that photography comes from the Greek word, phos, which means light, and graphs, which means writing.  So you put those two together and photography means writing with light.  Sounds pretty simple, but honestly there are SO many ways you can do that.  If you haven’t already read HERE, I did go to photography school where I learned about all, and I mean ALL kinds of different lighting methods and patterns.  But after hours and hours of shooting and studying, my pick was always the same – natural light.  Simply put, that means I don’t like to create my light using artificial lights. Rather, I like to discover the beauty of light naturally, which for the most part happens outside or by a nearby window.  I found that natural light had a soft, organic beauty to it that can be recreated using artificial lights, but it doesn’t feel the same to me.  I love the fact that the first thing God created was light.  And nothing brings me more joy than finding His perfect natural light and putting my subjects in it.

My love for natural light has caused me to be what some might call a light junkie.  For instance, I find myself waking up every day just waiting for the sun to rise so that it will slowly creep under and around my bedroom door creating the MOST beautiful glow.  And honestly, it’s not at all ironic for my husband and I to be driving along the road and for me to exclaim, “Would you just look at that! Now, THAT is some beautiful light.”  I’ve said it so much that I even find him pointing it out to me when he finds it.  What can I say, we were meant to be!

Now one of the only downfalls of being a natural light photographer in the Midwest is that 90% of our sessions happen outdoors.  And therefore, not many willing subjects want to discover that beautiful natural light in the harshness of the Iowa winters.  But I take those months to really rest and rejuvenate myself creatively and professionally; so when spring comes, as it is now, I am once again ready to head out and discover more and more of the beauty of that natural light.

I thought I would leave you with some of my favorite natural light images from the past year!


Creatyd Blog - Northwest Iowa Photographer