With hundreds of portrait sessions under my belt, I’m pretty quick to adapt to different and varying lighting conditions. Bold light. Soft, cloudy light. Bright Sun. Dusk. And so many more! A lot of people will say that they heard that the “best” light happens on cloudy days. There is some level of truth to that, but really, I don’t buy it. You see, what it really comes down to is that different types of light just directs the shoot in different ways. Certain poses work better with certain types of light. Certain camera angles work better with different types of light. Here’s what I always tell people, cloudy weather is easy light. On a cloudy day we can go anywhere and the light is consistent no matter where I’m standing. So that’s nice! Easy peasy, just point and click. OK, it’s not thaaaat easy, but you get the picture, easy light just removes one part of the equation.
Now, bold light. Or as I like to call it, the bluebird sky! On bluebird days, the light is way more challenging and if you can’t play nice with sunshine, the photos will just plain suck. Now now, before you go all crazy and start wishing away beautiful blue skies, let me put your mind at ease. While bold light is challenging, it also opens up a world of opportunity for dynamic and creative photos. Sure, there’s squinting, shadows in the eye sockets, bright spots on exposed skin, but leave it with me, I’ve got work-arounds for all of that. I have to consider my shooting angle relative to the subject 100% more than I do on a cloudy day, but the fruits of our combined labour (yes, it’s harder for you too!) yield very punchy, colourful images. Yay! I love the challenge of shooting in difficult light, so bring on the sunshine.
So there ya go, my 2 cents on shooting in cloudy light vs bold light. At the end of the day, both conditions are great, they just force me to use different skill sets to conjure up cool photographs. Either way, you win! Best case scenario is when it’s a bit windy, a bit cloudy and a bit sunny! That way the wind decides what light we get to work with and often it will change back and forth throughout the shoot. Case in point, Mary and Peyman’s engagement photos (yes, there was a point to this whole lighting rant)! We had a lovely lakefront stroll in Lake Ontario Park and made some awesome images in diverse, changing light! We didn’t fight the sun by looking for shady spots where the easy light was, nope, we got right in the mix with Mother Earth and embraced the bold light. The results, I love em, hope you do to!