I’ve spent many years perfecting my lighting as a photographer. I published a book in the early 2000s called Studio Lighting Naturally. I wrote the book because I had found in the Greater Baltimore area, many studio spaces and homes (on location) lacked the natural light needed to perform full photo sessions. As much as I loved natural lighting, I had to figure out a way to make my studio lighting match my natural light images. I spent many years photographing newborns with only studio lighting and achieved a soft lighting that mimicked natural light so much that it was virtually impossible for anyone to see the difference unless they also spent time studying lighting and could see the subtle differences. I then taught these techniques in the book as well as in workshops around the world.
Technology has since caught up and I have equipment that can push higher ISOs in lower lighting situations, and I don’t always shoot studio lighting anymore with newborns. I go to a client’s home and scan the lighting very quickly. I then decide if I want to bring my equipment out of my vehicle. Many times I do not and simply use the available window light. This was one of those all natural light sessions.
By the way, I did take Studio Lighting Naturally off the market as I am getting ready to release a new newborn photography book that combines studio lighting techniques and natural lighting techniques as well as much much more including how to polish images and how to create beautiful images with a simple structure that is timeless. The book has been done since last fall, but I am just working on a timeframe to launch. I’ve been incredibly busy and haven’t found down time yet, but I plan to soon. It covers much of the idea of creating natural newborn images.
To me, natural newborn photography does not necessarily mean natural light only. I feel that natural newborn images should have a combination of natural elements such as baby in natural poses and the lighting element should always look soft which compliments baby’s features. Whether studio or natural light is used, the style and look should remain extremely similar. If you look at this newborn photography gallery, you can see that at first glance, there is no image jumping out screaming natural or artificial lighting. It all looks cohesive and similar.
Newborn Photography Book
If you are looking out for this newborn photography book and/or the newborn editing videos, keep a look out on (and like) the brand new Facebook Jodie Otte, Maryland Newborn Photography Page. This is where the announcement will be.