Let me make it clear to you that if you are going to take portraits on a regular basis, you need to learn how to make use of the artificial light. Well, I am talking about the powerful studio strobe, continuous source of any kind or lowly speed light. However, you need to know that the natural light portraits still have their place, and these can be made amazingly beautiful and effective as well. If you want to go with the natural portraits, you can go through the tips I have mentioned here.
Firstly, do not be tensed or scared while creating a natural light portrait. It is possible to hustle the person in a different shade or to get a decent shot. But, it may not always be a great one. You can light to add that extra spice and so use that limited natural light.
With the natural light, you need not carry extra lights, cords, generators, batteries, etc. You need to worry about the incidents such as tripping over the stuff or having these accessories blown by a strong wind. You get the freedom from these worries that will keep you in a relaxed attitude. This way, the portraits that you create will look better with the natural light.
You will have to buy a reflector or diffuser. I should tell you that the reflectors come in numerous sizes and shapes. However, as you need to carry the reflector along with you, you need to buy one that is portable and ideal for the purpose. You can buy reflectors that are a maximum of 40 inches so that you can carry it around. Usually, the photographic reflectors will have a removable or reversible cover that has a golden and silver surface or black and white surface and the cover can be removed to double as a diffuser that will enable it to be placed between the sunlight and your subject.
I usually look for natural gobo, flags, and scrims. Well, these are different types of light modifiers. The scrims will cut the light levels, gobos will create light patterns, and opaque flags will block the light suddenly. This way, I will let the light spill only when I want it to. You can position your subject so that the pattern of light improves the shot and gives it the extra impressive look.
In case, you are shooting indoors, you need to be aware of the things such as the difference between the light that comes from a large and a small window. One of these is more focused, and this difference can either make or break the portrait.
My advice is that you need to keep in mind that you are not using additional light sources, and so an extreme close-up portrait will show your reflection in the subject’s eyes. There can be some post work done to make the portrait look great. You can add some punch to it, but do not forget that it should be black and white.