Capture Beautiful Natural Light Portraits at Home with These Simple Tips (VIDEO)

So you’d like to try your hand at portrait photography, but lack a studio and all the specialized lighting gear and accessories typically used by the pros. No problem, because this tutorial demonstrates how to shoot captivating portraits with natural light and simple gear in the comfort of your home.

Canadian photographer Alen Palander knows his way around a studio, which is where he made this behind-the-scenes tutorial. But for this shoot in Toronto, the studio space is configured like a home living room, and his model is illuminated with nothing more than natural light. And once he walks you through the process of capturing a few beautiful images, he reveals a simple post-production method for enhancing the shots.

Palander explains he enjoys shooting with natural light because of how easy it s to achieve soft, moody portraits with this type of illumination. Another benefit is that many subjects feel more comfortable (including his model for this session) while working in this type of setting without a bunch of hot lights.

You’ll see how to meter light levels for flattering results, and learn a bunch of helpful techniques for posing a subject, employing simple props, and framing your scene. There are also some good tips on exposure settings and gear, and how to make a model look taller and more feminine.

Palander also discusses the importance of wardrobe selection, preparation for the shoot, and taking a collaborative teamwork approach with the model. As for equipment, Palander kept things simple, with a single camera body and three lenses. As you’ll see, this approach makes for a smooth, organized session in which both the photographer and model feel comfortable. And when that happens, the result is beautiful imagery.

So watch the video to see how this session unfolds, and then head over to Palander’s YouTube channel for more helpful advice. And be sure to check out our recent tutorial, with eight great tips for striking portraits