Possibly a natural lighting studio?


TPF Noob!
Jan 11, 2012
Reaction score
Ephraim UT
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Hello! This is my first post here in this forum:)

I am wanting to get into newborn/children photography. I am debating between two options. I could either go with studio lights, in an indoor room... OR I could possibly have a "diamond in the rough" set up for an all natural lit studio.
We have a sun-room on the back of our house that is currently being used for .. nothing. I am wondering if I have a great studio setup already right under my nose.

DSC_0214 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

DSC_0213 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

DSC_0211 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

The light is obviously very harsh. The sun is pretty direct through the windows basically all day long. I am wondering if there is any way of making this bright sunroom work for pictures? Any suggestion on how to tone down the lighting without losing its brightness? Or should I just forget it and move indoors and get a nice studio lighting setup?
Sheer white curtains will tone it down some. Acts like a diffuser. Black drapes for when you need to block the light.
Welcome aboard.

Your area does have some potential as a natural light studio...but it may be challenging to control the light when you need to. Not to mention that you would be limited to certain times of day. Where I live, it gets dark around 4:00pm in the middle of winter...so if I have to do any shooting after that, I can't rely on natural light.
Thanks for the input! Each time I walk through the sun-room I cant help but think " this could be a great setup". I did try a white sheet up against the windows but it basically blocked out all the light. I will need to try different textured fabrics. Is there anything out there that is made specifically for this situation? Some screens that would take the harshness off but still be nice and soft? I would hate to have kind of "screened" look to the light though. If that makes any sense. Could I combine a studio light with all of this natural lighting? Thanks again, input like this really helps.
You could look for a pre-made diffusion screen or make your own, or just hang the fabric and drape it in front of the windows.

I believe that a common material for diffusion is nylon....rip-stop nylon is popular. That would probably work well, but you can't count on it to be perfectly white (color neutral)...which may or may not be important to you. I found this diffusion material, which may work, but is probably more expensive Foba DITRO Opaline Diffuser Sheet F-DITRO B&H Photo Video

As for using a studio light, in conjunction with the natural light, that is usually not a good idea. For one, the color temp is going to be different. And since you can only have your camera/image set to one specific WB setting, different colored light sources will cause problems. You could try to match the studio light to the natural light with 'gels', but the tricky part is that the color of natural light changes with time of day and weather conditions.

Ideally, you would be set up to use either natural light or studio light. When conditions allow, use natural light. When they don't blind the windows and use the studio lights.
I vote for strobed (flash) studio lighting. :thumbup:

"I so sorry Ms. Customer. I know you scheduled your photography appointment 3 months in advance, but since it's raining today and my studio uses available light, I can't make those photographs for you today because their just isn't enough light, it's the wrong color, and, and, and, well, it just sucks today.

Lets see. I have another opening next Tueday at 9 AM, and hopefully the weather will cooperate then."

Using strobed or constant lighting gives the photographer tons more control and tons more options than using avilable light offers.

:soapbox:All light is natural light and all light is made of the same thing - photons. Photon - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia To be exact, what we call light is just a very small sliver of frequencies we can see in the electromagnetic spectrum that included radio, x-rays, your cell phone conversation, and the radiant heat from a fireplace. Electromagnetic spectrum - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Of couse the Sun makes photos by doing nuclear fusion, as natural a process as making light by heating xenon gas in a flash tube, heating a tungsten fillament in a light bulb, or exciting the phosphous coating on the inside of a flourescant light tube.
Lastolite (and others) make some nice diffusers at a reasonable cost.... most of which can be attached to a lightstand, and moved around as needed. A 3'x3'would probably do well for a lot of newborn / child shots... and a larger diffuser (possibly with the material that Big Mike listed) would be even better.

Can't work natural light only if you are really serious, though! Need flash.. some inexpensive studio lights are nice to have, even mix that with the diffused sunlight for some POP (and nice catchlights in the eyes)! Need Reflectors too... so you can add fill when you need it (always!)

Most reactions

New Topics