Its great to have good control over studio lighting for your portraiture. At the same time, do keep in mind that natural light can be used to create effective portraits as well, given the time of the day. As our students at KAPA learn during the first half of the course, modifying natural light can give very pleasing results.
When we speak of ‘modifying’ light it is not necessarily using softeners and reflectors and other gear every time. Light can, in a way be modified by changing your own (and the camera’s) point of view. Take for example these images of actress Akshara Hassan as photographed by KAPA founder Karthik Srinivasan. A SONY Alpha a7R markII with sal 85mm. The 5mm by the way is a good lens for portraiture. Speaking of the lighting conditions, it is obvious that there is a large source of light coming in from the right hand side of the model.
To achieve this effect, place your model near a large window. The window itself creates a directional light, more or less at any given time of the day. A thermocol bounce can be used on the opposite side of the face to soften the shadows. This very simple set up is ideal for portraiture.
You can practice using natural light by looking for windows, corridors, trees, buildings, arches…anything that allows light to enter directionally rather than straight on…