Golden Hour is Truly Your Friend for Natural Light Portraiture

For a simple yet lovely natural light portrait shoot session outdoors, you’d need an eye for detail, good gear, and good weather. 

If you’re planning to conduct a natural light portrait shoot sometime soon, you don’t have to look any further than this behind-the-scenes video by Toronto-based photographer Lee Zavitz of the YouTube channel Zed Pro Media for some inspiration. In his vlog, we can see Lee and his model Keira making the trip to a nearby park where cherry blossoms were in full bloom for an impromptu shoot. The only cameras he used were a Fuji X-H1 and a Sony A7III.

For the first half of the five-minute video, Lee took photos of Keira near a river where the light of the late afternoon sun hit her beautifully. The latter half finally showed him photographing her amid cherry blossom trees, even snapping a small bunch of flowers from a tree to use it to create an effect.

It might appear as a random vlog – even Lee himself mentioned at least once that the video didn’t have a concept or purpose – but a few takeaways could still be gleaned from it:

  • You don’t always need to pull all the stops to deliver beautiful portraits. Sometimes, less is indeed more – less gear, that is.
  • Golden hour truly is your friend. Try doing your shoots around this time for soft and delicate-looking portraits.
  • Nature always provides. Just look at how the cherry blossom trees served as a nice backdrop and how the sun gave out warm light.
  • During shoots, you can definitely do more with flowers than just tucking it behind one ear. Check out that quick trick Lee did to create an in-camera effect. But… maybe don’t snap it off a tree prematurely?
  • When you get the urge to shoot, just do it! You’re not always required to lay out and plan everything beforehand, what’s important is that you get to practice.

See what we mean and watch the whole video below:

 Screenshots taken from the video by Zed Pro Media.