I have been shooting predominantly with strobe/flash for most of the work I have posted on social media and portfolio sites over the last several years. Partly because I shoot stock images and love the polished look of a commercial image, but also because it was all I really practiced due to the time constraints of a day job. However, due to a recent mishap on location, I have been playing more with available light photography.
Do What it Takes
A while back, halfway through a shoot while working with semi-professional model Mikki Knapp at a beach along Lake Erie, shooting images for the agency she was due to see the next day, my light stand with an Alien Bees B1600, beauty dish, remote trigger and portable lithium battery fell into the lake. So, for the second half of that shoot, instead of packing it in a wallowing in the possibility of lost gear, I decided to continue with available light. Turns out that was the best decision I made in a while. One of the very first images I shot without the heavy lighting gear is of my most awarded swimsuit images.
Since then I have shot 80% of the time on location with available light. I am loving it! It really exercises your ability to take control of your camera and produce consistent quality. I love the challenge though! Working in and making the existing light that illuminates the scene at whatever location I am using at the time works for me and if if doesn’t, I now bring the necessary lighting to make it work for me! That said, I never use a reflector on location and rarely have an assistant accompany me. 🙂
A few of my recent swimwear shoots and also a couple of location shoots with Misty Renaud of Essex have been captured using camera, lens and the light that good old mother nature has provided, and I absolutely love the quality of light in every single image! I think.
By the way, if you are reading this post, live in Windsor, would like to learn photography and benefit from what I have found by trial and error in the 12 years I have been using a camera and would like to assist on creative/model shoots, feel free to contact me.
Here is a small slideshow gallery of recent available light images..