Here’s How to Make Outdoor Natural Light Portraits That Look Like Studio Photos (VIDEO)

Photographers inexperienced at portraiture often shy away from the task of shooting portraits, with the mistaken notion that it requires specialized skill and sophisticated equipment to capture beautiful images. In the video below, a top pro refutes that myth by demonstrating how to make striking portraits outdoors under available light with a minimum of gear.

Sony Artisan Miguel Quiles is a professional portrait and wedding photographer based in New Jersey, and what you’ll see in this tutorial is an approach he refers to as “parking lot portraits.” Apart from a camera, all that’s required for this simple setup is an affordable reflector, a posing table, and a backdrop,

With this modest equipment, and a pretty model, Quiles demonstrates how easy it can be to simulate a studio look when photographing outdoors with available light.

Shooting in the shade, Quiles uses a silver reflector in front of the model, to bounce a bit of light into her face. He places a collapsible backdrop behind the model, held in place by a common C-stand. Taping a backdrop to a wall works equally well.

Quiles discusses his exposure settings and offers a few posing tips, and that about it. The images he captures are really nice, and with this basic setup and a bit of practice, you can do the same.

There are more helpful tips on the AdoramaTV YouTube channel. And be sure to check out our earlier portraiture tutorial, with the pros and cons of using flash when shooting outdoors. We also encourage you to watch the video we produced, with five great tips for shooting portraits outdoors.