Photography has been such a great journey so far.
I went from a point and shoot to a DSLR and lens after lens. Everything evolved. From photographing flowers and insects to people to then weddings.
I couldn't get enough. I just wanted to learn and continue learning.
I learned all about using flash and using studio lighting setups and it was so good to learn. I know how to setup three or four lights and get proper exposure. But, I decided that studio work was not for me. To me it had no emotion and the background was just a background.
As I continued to improve in my photography I learned about bokeh, proper lighting, proper focal lengths, better composition and knowing where to go.
I've always liked to pack light. And it translated as well in my photography. I can do a whole session with one camera and one lens. I do bring backups, but keep them nearby.
I never bring a flash on my photo sessions.
I love being able to find natural reflectors around me. Sometimes its the sky, other times its a building, or my white shirt. There is always a secondary light source to be found that can help light the subject. Even asphalt can reflect light back on your subject.
So you don't bring reflectors with you either?
Actually I own two reflectors, but when I go to a session I found it cumbersome. Also, I enjoy using my longer lenses and there was never anyone there to hold the reflector. Natural reflectors can do wonders.
Do you do sessions in bright mid day sun?
Yes, I do. Of course very strong light is not fun to play with. But I am good about finding a shady area or a good angle to work with where the sun can act as a rim light around hair to add some texture. I like to work with my client and the're availability. I have practiced a lot in bright sunny days and know the best angles to produce flattering images.
Are there any conditions that you find you wouldn't be able to photograph in?
That is a great question. I actually pride myself in being able to photograph in any location and lighting situation. Of course a major storm or any situation where the client is not comfortable won't do. First, I always make sure the client is comfortable in the setting and that I'm able to get the photos they are looking for. Aside from that I will photograph anywhere with confidence.
Do you ever use flash now?
Yes, I do. For most events and weddings I find myself in very low lit situations where flash is a must. Although today's cameras do very will in low light sometimes a flash is needed to stop motion or to fill in some shadows. I think being able to properly use flash is a super important skill to learn. Whether you use flash all the time or once a month it is a skill worth having.
Why is being a natural light photographer so important to you?
To me being a natural light photographer is the closest thing to being a true manual photographer. The heart of photography is a camera and a 50mm lens. The industry started that way. Super simple, get it right out of the camera in any light condition. History has been documented by some amazing photographers that didn't have a screen to preview their images or the capacity to take thousands of photos and just delete what they didn't like. It is the closest thing to raw photography. Capture and get it right as it happens. Somehow it just seems more pure to me in a way. It is not easy and I enjoy the challenge.
Will natural light photography go away as flashes improve and better cameras come out?
I doubt it. Reporters and photographers around the world still need to capture events at distances and speeds that won't allow flash use. Travel photography will always remain from an observers perspective. Also, photo-journalistic photography continues to get more and more popular as well.