How to Find Good Natural Light for Portraits (VIDEO)

As part of his “Good Light: Learning to Write with Light and Shadow” series, photographer Sean Tucker has released this gem of a tutorial. In the short video below, Tucker shows you how to find pretty natural light to help you shoot stunning portraits.

“The question I get asked most often is, how do you teach yourself to recognize good light?” Tucker asks. “It's a hard one to answer in one video, so instead I've decided to make a series of videos over time to show how I expose and compose images, and what light drew me to the scene in the first place.”

While this might seem like a simple lesson, that’s probably why it's so important to capturing to capturing great photos. And the thing is, most photographers get it wrong.

To demonstrate how you need to keep your eyes open for the right light, this London-based photographer walks around the city he calls home with his model Sarah, searching not only for flattering light but also an interesting setting for a striking street portrait.

“So, you might be walking around with your friends and want to take a quick portrait, but you need to find natural light that works for you. You don’t have strobes or a studio, so you need to find light that’s available that’s going to make them look good.”

The video is a fascinating look into how a clever photographer can survey a seemingly bland scene and find just the right combination of sunlight and an intriguing background to capture a professional-looking portrait.

To see more of Tucker’s photography tutorials, check out his YouTube channel. We featured one of his earlier videos from the Good Light series here. You should also see our recent story on how to shoot gorgeous portraits in natural light, and our video on how to get three awesome night portraits in under five minutes.