Seven Reasons Flash Is Superior to Natural Light for Portrait Photography

Do you want more or less control over your lighting when photographing portraits?

With the number of portrait photographers proclaiming that they only shoot in natural light perplexingly on the rise, one begs to question why someone wouldn’t want to have full control over how they lit their portrait subjects. This is something that photographer Craig Beckta addressed in his latest video, where he shares the seven reasons why he believes flash is better for portraits than natural light.

According to Beckta, the first benefit of using flash (off camera flash in particular) is that it affords you the flexibility of being able to control the direction of the light. This will allow you to utilize a variety of lighting patterns during the same shoot. The second benefit of using flash is that it grants control over the quality of the lighting through the use of light modifiers, allowing you to fine tune the lighting to suit your taste. The third benefit of using flash is that it gives you to ability to photograph subjects regardless of whether it’s during the day or the evening. With natural light, you are limited to only photographing during daylight hours. The fourth benefit of using flash is that it allows you to balance the exposure between your subject and background, giving you control over the background exposure in camera and allowing you to properly light your subject using flash afterwards. The fifth benefit of using flash (on camera flash in particular) is that it is a highly portable lighting setup when photographing events or weddings. The sixth benefit of using flash is that it allows you to control the position of the catch light in your subject’s eyes. This is something that’s rather challenging to do, nigh impossible at times, when shooting in natural light. The seventh and final benefit of using flash is that you can get really creative with the the lighting through the use of color gels, which is again nigh impossible to do with natural light.

You can check out Beckta’s full video below:

Do you use flash when photographing portraits, or do you prefer to stick with natural light? What do you think of the reasons Beckta gave for the benefits of flash? Let us know in the comments below!

Pauleth Ip

Paul is a New York City based photographer, creative, and writer. His body of work includes headshots and commercial editorials for professionals, in-demand actors/performers, high net worth individuals, and corporate clients, as well as intimate lifestyle/boudoir photography with an emphasis on body positivity and empowerment. Paul also has a background in technology and higher education, and regularly teaches private photography seminars. When not working on reviews and features for The Phoblographer or shooting client work, Paul can be seen photographing personal projects around NYC, or traveling the world with his cameras in tow. You can find Paul’s latest work on his Instagram over at @thepicreative.