Reflections : Natural Light Photography


A few days ago Chris Walters wrote and asked me on Facebook how I find and use natural light during an engagement session. More often than that, it’s just something I do, not necessarily something I’m good at explaining with just words. But that didn’t help Chris, nor would it help anyone else with a similar question so I got to thinking…and when I think, it usually requires JD to do something. Like I’ve mentioned before, I love ideas, but he’s much better at executing them. Which leads me to today’s Reflections Post.

I asked JD to come with me to Eileen and Joel’s engagement session to photograph behind-the-scenes photos of me shooting, specifically showcasing the environment and the light source(s). I think this is the best way I can approach this question without demonstrating in person. But, lemme tell you, I’m way more fun in real life. Honest.

I usually start the session 1-1.5 hours before sunset, but since we were shooting in an urban area, I knew the tall buildings would block a bit of light, so we started 2 hours before sunset. Because the sun was quite bright, I started the session in shaded areas, but ensured there was natural light reflected from nearby buildings. Here Joel and Eileen stand on a shaded street…

As you can see in the window reflections, the caramel colored building across the street poured a dose of warm light to illuminate the location and minimize the muddiness an overtly shaded location can provide.

Ever since buying the Canon 35mm, 1.4, I’ve become smitten with up close and personal photos. Smitten. Yes, I stand close to my clients, but it gives an entirely different feel to the photo and I’m a fan.

Yes, THIS CLOSE. The light source is behind me and you can see how bright it was (right side of the photo) and I’m standing just to the right of Eileen so I am not blocking it from illuminating her face.

Nice glowy light…in an alley? (Yes, I realize ‘glowy’ isn’t a word)

Clearly there wasn’t exposure compensation done on this photo, but I’m using it to show, precisely, just how strong the light source was…you know I love me some natural reflectors! The illuminated wall behind my left shoulder is reflecting light onto my subjects making an otherwise darkish alley shootable (again, I’m not sure shootable is a word either). Oh, and in case you’re wondering, I’m holding Eileen’s purse because I couldn’t bear to see it placed on the floor…lord only knows what would’ve ended up on the bottom of her Louis Vuitton…

Like I mentioned in their blog post, this was the last frame from the session and as we were walking back to our cars, I stopped when I saw the light pouring down…I live for light like this…

Now here’s a pulled back version of the photo. Clearly it’s not a cute location…and it smelled just as funky as you think it would. But this light was amazing and the overhead bridge provided a frame for me that I might not have seen walking through another alley. Sometimes it takes me walking backwards (which I did when I talked to them) to see light and locations differently.

Okay, so now I’m at the end of this post and I feel a bit lame because I’m not sure if this was helpful, but here’s the point: I had an idea…and JD made it happen. That right there? Well, I think he deserves an “A” on this project. You see, I’m not as cold and heartless as some of you think I am with my grading!

For those who asked, I used the 50mm for every photo except the one I highlighted with the 35mm. For the entirety of the shoot, however, I also used the 85mm. Also, for those who asked what I was doing with my hand in the last photo: I was shielding the sun so I could focus on my clients (sometimes when the sun is too harsh and pointed into my lens it prevents me from doing so). Thanks, friends! πŸ™‚

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  1. Katelyn James

    April 28th, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    If I could pull off those tights I would feel like the coolest girl ever…. you should feel cool:) wonderful post:)

  2. Brooke

    April 28th, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    very very helpful! thank you

  3. Mirian Silva

    April 28th, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    Thanks Jasmine that was so helpful! The pics are beautiful!

  4. Andrew

    April 28th, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    Extremely helpful Jasmine! Thank you for being so open about your process. You definitely have talent.

  5. Rachel Leigh Greene

    April 28th, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    That WAS helpful! Seeing the behind the scenes of you taking pictures…very good, JD πŸ˜€

  6. Penny Wolfe

    April 28th, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    Oooh…I’m all smitten with your shootable ideas and glowy locations! πŸ™‚ And I love using new words too! Thanks for the behind the scenes peek!!

  7. Caitlin

    April 28th, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    What a great post J* – thanks for the reflections!! It’s always so helpful! And I do love those tights!!!

  8. Ricard Torres

    April 28th, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    I really enjoyed this post Jasmine.

    Keep em coming πŸ™‚

  9. Lane

    April 28th, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    Do you not use a camera strap?

  10. Karin

    April 28th, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    A big thank you! I am struggling a little bit with the lighting sometimes, basically because we do not have that amount of sunlight here in Europe.. and that’s why most photographers prefer studio. Not me. The sun shines sometimes a couple of weeks only, the rest of the year is cloudy and kinda dark. So I am very excited to try the thing with the natural reflectors on next fall/winter. Again, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ALL THIS HELPFUL THINGS YOU POST!

  11. Poetic Images

    April 28th, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    Thanks for that! Very helpful!

  12. Rachael May

    April 28th, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    Would love to see these images SOOC….or are they??

  13. Felicia Gwen

    April 28th, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    Love…and you are looking super hot in those boots!

  14. Jennifer Vinson

    April 28th, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    Thank you for sharing. Its very helpful! And I love your outfit. You are one hot photog!!

  15. Chris

    April 28th, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    That was brilliant – so helpful. I saw your tweet about watching CJLive yesterday and thought then that a BTS on one of your shoots would be so cool. And it was!!

  16. Jennifer

    April 28th, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    I always get more shots on the way back to the car than at the actual location. Haha!! I think it takes the extra time to process all of the scenery in my brain. πŸ™‚

  17. Sandy

    April 28th, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    It actually was very helpful! Especially as I am a very visual person! So thanks! Hopefully someday I can be as amazing a photographer as you are!

  18. Paul

    April 28th, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    Jasmine: "not sure if this post was helpful"
    The Rest of Us: "Did you read this post??? Quick, save it to a PDF and store it in three locations so we don’t lose it! She provides an EXCELLENT lesson on light, posing, lens choice and how &when to approach an engagement session. Don’t want to lose this!"

  19. Cheryl

    April 28th, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    I have been reading your blog for a few months. I have read every single one of your faq/photog tips posts and this one was the most helpful for me yet. I would appreciate more of them. Thanks!

  20. Abby Grace Photography

    April 28th, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    Thanks for posting this! I love shooting in natural light- scratch that, I only shoot in natural light, but I panic when I can’t get the RIGHT kind of lighting. I love how you always make the best of any location. This makes me want to go shoot in an alley in Dc. But I probably won’t do that, because I’d like to live to see tomorrow.

  21. Andrea

    April 28th, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    Awesome! Question, is that the 50mm on your camera in every shot? Thanks.

  22. Lorrie Prothero

    April 28th, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    cool – so glad you did this – I remember asking you to have JD do this last year. Glad Chris Walters asked too.

  23. Wendy

    April 28th, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    Thank you so much for this post! I am struggling with flash vs natural light. I would much rather not use a flash. I have had great success with hand held reflectors (actually a piece of white foam board), but I don’t always have someone with me to hold it.THANK YOU for sharing so much of yourself and inspiring so many of us! And thank you to JD as well!

  24. Faith Cherisse

    April 28th, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    Awesome post J*! Where is this location?

  25. P

    April 28th, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    This was great Jasmine, thank you. I also love that you continue to grade JD… (recently watched your last CreativeLive workshop).

  26. SvetlanaHillKovich

    April 28th, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    Hey! Ive got the SAME boots! πŸ˜‰

  27. Peter

    April 28th, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    Awesome post and you nailed it Jasmine! Thank you for the behind the scenes photos JD,

  28. Lily Magallanes

    April 28th, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    Thank you for sharing. I learn best with post like these from YOU! Thank you Thank you Thank you.

  29. Sharls

    April 28th, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    This is perfect!! Exactly what I was looking for to understand this! Thank you for taking the time to visually explain concepts. Makes it so much easier to understand xx

  30. Jess

    April 28th, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    Awesome post on using reflections, very helpful. I’m a friend of Chris’ so it was extra special to me. πŸ™‚

  31. Megan Floyd

    April 28th, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    Love it! This is something I try to explain, but it never feels like I’ve managed. haha One of my interior locations has walls just about that caramel color. It’s shaded, not a whole lot of light unless you’re right up on a window at the back, so I usually need to bounce flash, which usually looks like sunlight. πŸ™‚

  32. Damaris Mia

    April 28th, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    I loved this. It was very helpful! I never really paid to much attention to the color of the walls when shooting and using them as reflectors until a wedding I shot a couple months ago. Them brick walls were totally giving off a warm tone.. at times a little too much. But it was great to read this post and see how you can use the walls as reflectors πŸ™‚ Thank you!

  33. Jess

    April 28th, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    Awesome post on using reflections, very helpful. I’m a friend of Chris’ so it was extra special to me. πŸ™‚

  34. Dennis Brickett

    April 28th, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    Spot meter off face? What did you do to get the flare?

  35. Lasha

    April 28th, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    Jasmine and JD you have NO idea how helpful it is to see behind the scenes. I’ve said it before and I’m saying it again- I’m so unsure of almost everything I do and am I doing it right and oh! did I remember to do this and shoot I forgot to do that! .. lol… so seeing behind the scenes and then your comments for each photo help immensely. I’m tucking these tidbits of pricelss info into my brain. Thank you so so much πŸ™‚

  36. Jess

    April 28th, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    Awesome post on using reflections, very helpful. I’m a friend of Chris’ so it was extra special to me. πŸ™‚

  37. Mike Gray

    April 28th, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    Nice to see how people get there results, maybe JD could do a video version next time showing how you personally direct people to get these images.

  38. alicia schneider

    April 28th, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    sooooo helpful! Its great to see you in action. I am always a bit intimidated to use some of my fixed lenses, but I do feel a bit more confident! thanks again πŸ˜‰

  39. Annessa Baker

    April 28th, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    That totally made sense:) J-isims: loved ’em ( who cares if its a word… it described it honestly )

  40. Mike Burton

    April 28th, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    love your honesty, openness with all your legion of Fans throughout the digital world. You and JD get an A++ from me!

  41. jennifer little

    April 28th, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    I love this demonstration. It explains perfectly how you use natural light. Thank you for sharing!

  42. Kimberly Murray

    April 28th, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    A+ for JD and A+ for you! This post was very helpful! I can imagine myself being in the alley and thinking, "Argh! I wish that guy leaning on the car would get out of the way." Thanks for helping us to see the possibilities and realize that you don’t need nor want people standing directly in bright light to illuminate their faces.

  43. Eve

    April 28th, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    If you had told me those pix were taken in that alley, I would have screamt NO WAY!
    Thanks for the lessons & JD for taking the BTS!

  44. Julianne

    April 28th, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    Great post! At the risk of sounding like a complete newb, I’m going to ask this…what exactly is exposure compensation? I’ve hears the term before but have not figured it out. Is it something you can do while shooting or something done in post-processing? Thanks!

  45. Camera Flashes

    April 28th, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    Some great shots!


  46. steven

    April 28th, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    the bag is on the floor in pic 3!!
    i <3your blog

  47. Anna Kutuzova

    April 28th, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    Semplicemente stupendo!
    Grazie Jasmin!

  48. Bogdan

    April 28th, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    Thanks for this post. The "making of" pictures helps a lot. The locations look like something I usually walk by and the light just seems to harsh for shooting. But when you look at the photos….WOW! You wouldn’t believe they’re shot in natural light. Nice!

  49. Jessica Williams

    April 28th, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    Don’t feel lame! It was totally helpful!! Question.. did you stick with your 35mm the whole shoot? Or switch back and forth between that and your 50?

  50. Kate

    April 28th, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    Thank you SO MUCH for this! It really was helpful! I truly appreciate all the tips and tricks you share with everyone! It is SO awesome! THANKS!

  51. LEOLAK

    April 28th, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    Are you kidding?!? Was it helpful…read this later as if you weren’t Jasmine and you’ll know for sure it was! THANK YOU for always sharing and giving back. Second….are you kidding…the purse!!! My goodness…I like this Eileen chick..more than I did from the engagment post if that’s possible. lol And you…liking you more than I thought possible too…work those boots and tights lady! =)

  52. KaraM

    April 28th, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    Great post. Very helpful. I love behind the scenes photos. What are you always doing with your hand? Shading your lens? Did I miss that post?

  53. Anne T.

    April 28th, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    Jasmine, I love all your posts, but your ‘Reflections’ posts are my favorite! You may feel silly, but who have no idea how much it helps to have visual cues. You have taught me more about natural reflectors than I ever could have hoped to learn online. I am learning to see light in a whole new way. Now if only we could get a post like this after after shoot you do?!! That, would be a dream. πŸ™‚

  54. Kat Epps

    April 28th, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    This was extremely helpful – thx!

  55. Charles McDonald

    April 28th, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    Great stuff. πŸ™‚ Thanks.

  56. Gail

    April 28th, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    LOVE this post — very informative. But here’s what you didn’t explain β€” is that a SKIRT you’re wearing? Or cute shorts? And with fun tights no less? I will forever be in awe of your ability to shoot in such adorable stylish clothing. I for one could never pull that off without..ahem…revealing too much! haha πŸ™‚


    April 28th, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    Quite possibly the most beneficial blog post yet. And you’ve had some pretty awesome blog posts!

  58. megan beth

    April 28th, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    Taurus dude’s all leaning and posing, little did he know, he didn’t make the final cut! Love this helpful post!

  59. Paulette Stewart

    April 28th, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    Thank you so much, Jasmine! I really appreciate this.. great post!

  60. Janet Barnett

    April 28th, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    I was going to ask you where you found a Vuitton camera bag! πŸ˜‰

  61. anouschka

    April 28th, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    love it! thank you!

  62. sherri lynn

    April 28th, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    It is so helpful to see what the environment that you’re shooting in is like, including where the light is coming from, etc. This is a great post and a huge help

  63. Sullivan Photography

    April 28th, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    thank you for this post Jasmine! Very helpful:)

  64. Emily Dobson

    April 28th, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    EXCELLENT post…full of good information. HUGE fan of the behind the scenes photos by JD. Makes us fully aware of how talented you truly are…making an unattractive location seem ideal! And how you hunt for natural light? I love it!

  65. Clickmama

    April 28th, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    Noooo it was useful as heck! I love the behind the scenes and your process! I smiled when I saw you hold her bag cos that’s what I always do, I end up saddling three four bags on a typical E-sesh lol – it gives me comfort that it happens to the best of them so I must be doing something right eh lol!Great job JD!

  66. Jean-Noel Quilatan

    April 28th, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    Just a quick question: do you use a polarized filter when shooting towards the sun, or at all?

    Love the blog BTW, you’re an inspiration to amateur photographers like me!

  67. Jean-Noel Quilatan

    April 28th, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    Just a quick question: do you use a polarized filter when shooting towards the sun, or at all?

    Love the blog BTW, you’re an inspiration to amateur photographers like me!

  68. Vail Fucci

    April 28th, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    Jasmine, thanks so much for this post. PULEASE bring back your exif data on the images. I don’t know if blog stomp gets rid of it, but it is so helpful sometimes to be able to see what settings you were using. Like the one with the direct sun coming in from the back. How you didn’t completely blow out the exposure in too many other places and kept a good amount of detail in the couple rather than just silhouetting them amazes me.

  69. Mary @ Delightful Bitefuls

    April 28th, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    This is so so so (x 100!) helpful! Thank you πŸ™‚

  70. Rachel Czech

    April 28th, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    Thanks Jasmine! That was so beyond helpful since I am a visual person too…I love how you explain things too! Thanks for all you do, its touching to know someone cares that much

  71. Rachel Czech

    April 28th, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    Also crazy rockin outfit girl! Woohoo you are sexy πŸ™‚

  72. Anna

    April 28th, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    great post! Seeing it creates a whole other context.

  73. Erin

    April 28th, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    I love the pull-back shots. It shows you don’t have to have an amazing background to have an amazing photo, you just need amazing light. Love it!

  74. Gus

    April 28th, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    It was totally helpfull!! Tanks Jasmine, I hope a lot of couples round here likes the e-sessions to put it on practice.

  75. Lupe Ruiz

    April 28th, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    I can’t tell you just how helpful this was! I’m a visual learner, so it is awesome to see where you stand in relation to your clients!! LOVE!

  76. Kate Douthwright

    April 28th, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    No worries Jasmine, I completely understand your explanations. Does that mean I’m completely lame for getting this?! Thanks for sharing your techniques. It means a lot from a photographer who only uses natural light as well!

  77. Patricia Lorenzo

    April 28th, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    Of course this was useful! I just don’t understand how you can think of every little detail while shooting and staying in control! πŸ™‚ you’re amazing. And congrats to JD who got an A!!

  78. Taryn

    April 28th, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    How much order do you give your clients? Do you let them act "naturally" or do you give all or most the direction? Example: How to stand, sit, kiss, look at each other?

  79. Sharma Shari

    April 28th, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    Not lame at all. For a visual person like me, its always fun to see the behind the scenes to understand better. Thanks!

  80. Lisa

    April 28th, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    Thanks Jasmine, great post as always and for the record, "glowy" is definitely a word in my personal dictionary!

  81. Girish

    April 28th, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    That’s a great insight in the reflections and lighting.

    1 question, you posted 2 head shots of both of them in the earlier post. She has amazing highlights on her hair as the sun is behind her. Can you share how did you keep the face lit so much.

    Thanks in advance.

  82. James

    April 28th, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    Ummmm Star Power!

  83. Evie Perez

    April 28th, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    Thanks for taking the time to share this post with us in detail. Jd thanks for taking behind the scene pictures . Everytime you post these I get better and better, of course with some pratica as well.

  84. Amy Matkins

    April 28th, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    The perfect post for my shoot next week Of a professional – butterflies! Thank you so much Jasmine, am printing out to highlight!

  85. Erin Potter

    April 28th, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    Jasmine, again, thank you SO very much! As I’m starting out learning natural light photography, this is a HUGE help!! Girl, you knocked it out of the park with this one!! MUCH MAHALOS!!

  86. Edward Yee Photography

    April 28th, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    Great write up. I love natural light photography as well, and ur using one of my fav lens’ as well. Looking forward to see more pictures.

  87. Maryrose

    April 28th, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    Your Reflections posts are my favorite. This was no exception – incredibly helpful.

  88. lori yohe

    April 28th, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    not lame. awesome.

  89. Annetta

    April 28th, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    Thanks for the wonderful post. I like the BTS shots because I’m a visual learner.

  90. Julianne

    April 28th, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    This post was very helpful! At the risk of sounding like a complete newb, I have a question: What exactly is exposure compensation? I have heard the term before, but have never fully understood it…is it something in-camera or is it done in post-processing? Thanks!

  91. Femi

    April 28th, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    Thks for the wonderful tips… very helpful.

  92. Kimberly Carlson

    April 28th, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    I’m all about the natural light! I don’t even own a flash πŸ˜‰

  93. katie

    April 28th, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    Love this post but I really love the guy leaning on his car in the last picture. He’s super cool!

  94. Lerissa

    April 28th, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    GREAT POST J!! It was VERY informative…you should give JD more assignments!! This one def gets an A++

  95. Belinda

    April 28th, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    Love the behind the scenes photos! Thanks for sharing this!!!

  96. Fabrice Lambert

    April 28th, 2011 at 6:18 pm

    "A picture is worth a thousand words." (Confucius)

    Great job! Thanks a lot for your share.

  97. siri

    April 28th, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    Looooooooooove this post! Thank you so much

  98. Kathleen Frank

    April 28th, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    This is awesome! Love the behind the scenes look, and it really is so helpful. This Florida girl is always fighting with some pretty harsh sun. My favorite is that last shot where you have them standing in that little sliver of shade!

  99. Eileen

    April 28th, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    One question I have been meaning to ask is do you scope out locations before hand? Or while out and about doing your normal day to day stuff do you see spots and make a note of using it in the future? How do you select locations?

  100. Tobi

    April 28th, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    You get a Grade A as well. πŸ™‚ Very helpful.

  101. stephanie

    April 28th, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    love these, do these more often love it!

  102. Joice Kelly

    April 28th, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    I love natural lighting! thanks for sharing!

  103. Tamara

    April 28th, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    One of the best natural light tips I’ve seen. Thank you so much for sharing.

  104. Karin

    April 28th, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    Thanks Jasmine! This was very helpful…I have only recently discovered your blog and videos but I am touched by your teacher’s heart and willingness to share what works and make so many other photographers’ lives more efficient and successful! Thank you for all you give.

  105. Brad Halladay

    April 28th, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    Thanks for taking the time to share! I think this clears up natural light photography really well! Now I want to get out and shoot some more!

  106. LJP Los Angeles

    April 28th, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    Love the photos, you shoot great with natural light, keep up the great work!

  107. Brandi

    April 28th, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    But, what I really want to know is how do you shoot in a mini skirt?? lol. Impressive! I would certainly expose myself if I wore one of those while shooting. πŸ™‚

  108. Nicole

    April 28th, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    This was amazing! Thank you!

  109. Colette Horter

    April 28th, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    Just love your posts Jasmine, you rock!!! Thank you soooo much!

  110. Sabrina Nicole

    April 28th, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    Thank you Thank you Thank you Jasmine for this post!!! The information was extremely helpful! p.s. I wouldn’t be able to bare the thought of that pretty Louis Vuitton on the ground either.

  111. Jenny roeller

    April 28th, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    So helpful! Thanks for posting. The session was beautiful as always.

  112. stephanie

    April 28th, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    this is great, but, what I really want to know is…CAN I HAVE THOSE BOOTS????

  113. Odalys Mendez

    April 28th, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    Jasmine, your ability to share an educate is truly a gift. Thank you πŸ™‚

  114. Amy Paulson

    April 28th, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    Sweet Jasmine – you rock. Thank you for all that you do to educate and to encourage others…

  115. Chris Walters

    April 28th, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    Thank you SO MUCH for this post and it definitely helps with my understanding of how you use your environment and natural light. I really appreciate you and JD taking the time to make this post happen!

  116. Jackie Lamas

    April 28th, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    wonderful post! thank you for sharing!

  117. Sarah DeShaw

    April 28th, 2011 at 10:24 pm

    Cuuuute tights!!

  118. Kim Dormann

    April 28th, 2011 at 11:02 pm

    This was very helpful to me. I have silly questions, like "Is it odd to get right over the subject to get the downshot?" like you did on the steps. To actually see how close you got helps to realize "No, it’s not odd.". Thanks you so much for sharing this…

  119. Dave Keys - OC Photographer

    April 28th, 2011 at 11:09 pm

    Absolutely great post! Thanks for sharing the details. Always something new to learn here at Jasmine’s blog. I love me some ambient, reflected light!

  120. Kristina Cowan

    April 28th, 2011 at 11:14 pm

    Thank you for this post. I feel like you did a great job of describing where/how you were getting your light. JD’s pictures really helped as well! I love using natural light!

  121. Alicia -- Beba Photography

    April 28th, 2011 at 11:41 pm

    Love this post, Jasmine! : ) I still sometimes struggle with finding the right lighting and have been on the hunt to find "open air" lighting–areas that are lit by the abient, surrounding light without being direct light in my client’s eyes and causing them to water or squint. I’m also trying to be more aware of not shooting under trees if it causes the lighting to be dappled. The thing I love most about this blog post is the idea of using nearby walls as natural reflectors to fill the space with light. Should be common sense, but it wasn’t as obvious to me and I’m really thankful for this helpful tip. : )

  122. Shane O' Sullivan

    April 29th, 2011 at 12:25 am

    This is one of the best posts I’ve seen in ages, and it all makes so much sense! Lovin these Jasmine, more please….

  123. AnneMarie

    April 29th, 2011 at 12:49 am

    Love this post. It’s like we are behind the scenes with you. xo

  124. Jessica

    April 29th, 2011 at 2:46 am

    For visual learners like myself, this was super helpful!

  125. Lloyed Valenzuela

    April 29th, 2011 at 2:47 am

    Thanks for sharing…ive learn big from your post today. A big fan and a BIG follower!!!

  126. Terrie Brewer

    April 29th, 2011 at 2:56 am

    Love it!! Please keep ’em coming. You are such an inspiration and keep me motivated.

  127. Janet Cruz

    April 29th, 2011 at 2:59 am

    Wow! Thanks so so much!!! Great Job JD! That really helped!

  128. briana Moore

    April 29th, 2011 at 3:14 am

    The visuals were incredibly helpful, so thanks to you & JD!

    Sidenote: your thank you present is staring at me with sad eyes. I’m mailing it on Monday πŸ™‚

  129. Mona Alicia

    April 29th, 2011 at 3:15 am

    Thank you and JD for taking the time to prepare a post like this. I know that you don’t have to show this part of your work and I want to you to know how much your efforts are appreciated!

  130. Thresha

    April 29th, 2011 at 3:59 am

    This post was so helpful! πŸ™‚

  131. Taryn

    April 29th, 2011 at 4:20 am

    This is totally helpful! Thanks so much for sharing!

  132. {natalie bray photography}

    April 29th, 2011 at 4:25 am

    This was very helpful! Love these posts, they are inspiring and motivational!

  133. Roxie

    April 29th, 2011 at 5:01 am

    Wow – this was seriously helpful Jasmine! Much appreciation with all your fabulousness! πŸ™‚

  134. Cindy

    April 29th, 2011 at 5:52 am

    An apple for the teacher is well deserved here. Thanks for the post.

  135. Jessica Chavez

    April 29th, 2011 at 5:52 am

    This post is amazing!! It’s much more clear now! Thanks for such an interesting post as always but this one has extra points for having JD’s help!! You are a very good grader!!

  136. FELIX WU

    April 29th, 2011 at 6:48 am

    Do you really need to be so stylish when taking photos Jasmine? haha! πŸ™‚

  137. suzie

    April 29th, 2011 at 7:34 am

    Thank you Jasmine!

  138. Amanda

    April 29th, 2011 at 7:35 am

    This is so helpful! Please add more behind the scenes posts! Thank You!

  139. Tammynize

    April 29th, 2011 at 8:06 am

    Nice Stockings Jasmine!

  140. Lydia

    April 29th, 2011 at 8:08 am

    One of my favorite posts! Please, please do it again! It’s the next best thing to watching you shoot in person! πŸ˜‰

  141. Tais Marcelo

    April 29th, 2011 at 11:49 am

    Great post!! I could think and understand more about lighting and locations as well!! Thanks Jasmine, thanks JD!!

  142. Amy Arrington Photography

    April 29th, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    Love these posts! Thank you Jasmine!

  143. Anthony Quesada

    April 29th, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    Not sure if this is helpful? This is one of your most helpful posts ever. I feel like I have heard these tips a few times since I stalk you like crazy, but to see it in action is priceless. Go Jasmine!!! and great job JD. Loved it:)

  144. Emily Mangum

    April 29th, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    I really, really appreciate this post. Hurray for JD and his behind the scenes action, it’s so nice to see what you were doing for certain shots. I love that you look for natural reflectors that it becomes second nature–seriously this post was suuuuper helpful. Thanks!!

  145. Steph

    April 29th, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    PHENOMENAL! Love this post – it’s exactly what I crave & love learning from the pros! Very helpful & inspiring – you rock the 50mm & 35mm.

  146. SarahV

    April 29th, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    You rock! Thanks for posting!

  147. Kimberly

    April 29th, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    thanks jasmine this post was amazing!! it helped me visualize much better how you do what you do … and i love behind the scenes shots. i’d love to see more in the future!

  148. Amy Jo

    April 29th, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    Fantastic post. I am a visual learner, and so these pictures helped. Thanks so much to you and JD for taking the time to do it!

  149. Christy

    April 29th, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    No thank you! That was very helpful!

  150. Wedding Photographer in Columbus GA

    April 29th, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    Love this post! This type of post, as simple as it is actually turn out to be the most informative especially since I’m a visual learner. Thanks for sharing!

  151. star co

    April 29th, 2011 at 7:20 pm

    very helpful! i’m wondering if you only use ambient light when you’re outdoors, or if you use an in-camera/off-camera flash once in a while as well.

  152. Sarah Jaeger

    April 29th, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    I use the word ‘glowy’ in my vocabulary! I think it’s an awesome word that describes what you’re trying to say perfectly!

  153. Kira Noble

    April 29th, 2011 at 8:14 pm

    Thanks for this post. It was SUPER helpful!

  154. kelsey {las vegas wedding photographer}

    April 29th, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    Great tips thank you!

  155. Marissa Nicole

    April 29th, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    Great post. I absolutely LOVE these kind of posts. I am a visual learner, so you can explain something to me all day long until your face turns blue & smoke is shooting out your ears & I still won’t completely understand. But show me & I am good to go!

  156. Marian Majik

    April 29th, 2011 at 10:06 pm

    AMAZING POST !!! One of the best which I’ve read (and not just here) This kind of information photographers looking for always. How to work with light – and real examples. Thank you very much

  157. Katren

    April 29th, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    I just watched your 5 day workshop on Creativelive and you have given me a whole new way to look at my photography and my business. Thank you for continuing my Jasmine learning experience! Awesome post

  158. Griselda Vargas

    April 30th, 2011 at 1:44 am

    You have no idea how helpful this was! πŸ™‚ Thank you for posting this

  159. ardean

    April 30th, 2011 at 4:02 am

    This is immensely generous and wonderful of you to share! I just shot a head shot session using my 85mm and 50mm – so it’s comforting to know you shoot like that too πŸ˜€

  160. Yen

    April 30th, 2011 at 4:28 am

    umm… so i thought glowy was a word??? haha

  161. Life with Kaishon

    April 30th, 2011 at 5:05 am

    May you continue to always find the light and share it with those around you : ) Happy Weekend! Love, Becky

  162. Sharon

    April 30th, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    Thank you, this was most helpful to me!

  163. Paula Franco

    April 30th, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    Thanks a lot!! It’s a pleasure to learn from you. Thanks for sharing.

  164. Adriana Morett

    April 30th, 2011 at 11:10 pm

    Jasmine, I’ve been reading your blog for over a year, and I have read the older posts too, and this one right here has been my favorite ever. THANK YOU and thank JD too, please.

  165. Rebekah Lyn

    May 1st, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    Thanks for the tips! Can’t wait to get a 35mm!

  166. LaVon

    May 1st, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    I feel really silly being the 158 person to comment but I wanted to make sure I thanked you for this post. It was especially useful to ‘see’ you in action. To see how far…and how close you stand to your clients to get the amazing shots you seem to nail effortlessly! Pull backs are the best and I would not be a bit upset if u did more of them! Thanks Jaz!

  167. Neil Redfern

    May 2nd, 2011 at 12:01 am

    Great post, always interesting and useful to see a ‘behind the scenes’ type post πŸ™‚

  168. Adam LatoΕ„

    May 2nd, 2011 at 11:18 am

    Great post! And just when I wanted to ask about the light you have used in previous post. πŸ™‚ Moreover I love any backstages and making-ofs. πŸ™‚

  169. Jen Rice

    May 2nd, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    Thank you Jasmine! I did my first EVER downtown Austin shoot a few weeks ago and I’m LOVIN’ me some urbaness (yep, I tend to create my own lingo too, lol!) The light was AMAZING!!!! I was hearing you in the back of my mind the whole time… "natural reflectors, natural reflectors…) It was bouncing off EVERYTHING!

    I have a question for you though… your very last statement "edited to add"… your hand up to shield the sun… are you shielding and on auto focus still? Is it helping the camera or just for you to be able to see your subjects? That is the hardest thing for me to get, sunflare behind people AND focused people in the same shot, lol!!! Any advice??? My camera (Canon 5D) has a little bit of a fit when I ask it to accomplish this for me πŸ™

  170. amanda thiessen

    May 2nd, 2011 at 6:45 pm

    these are my favorite posts! thank you for being so transparent with everything you do!!

  171. Pamela Topping

    May 2nd, 2011 at 11:15 pm

    The second to last shot is my favorite! So dreamy!!

  172. Jodie Lemke

    May 3rd, 2011 at 2:09 am

    This was very helpful!!! Thank you J* I just wondered if you could post your settings. I am curious especially for the last image but wondered about them all!! thx a bundle you are able!! luv the location, i would die to have more great stuff like this!!

  173. Brittani

    May 3rd, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    This was a great session, and it was helpful. Makes me double think to make sure I’m looking for them too!! Thanks J. &hearts;

  174. norm

    May 3rd, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    Great information!!! Where did this engagement shoot take place?

  175. sheakorinne

    May 4th, 2011 at 4:44 am

    Very helpful! Thanks for posting!

  176. Ansley

    May 4th, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    Jasmine – thank you for sharing these useful tips with all of us. I really appreciate seeing the photos of you working with clients. It gives a behind the scenes view of your great shots, helping us see how you did it and helping us become better photographers ourselves.

  177. Emma Godfrey

    May 4th, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    An Awesome post (yes it deserves a capital A!), please please do more behind the scenes posts – I love, love them!

  178. Mike C

    May 7th, 2011 at 3:16 am

    This was a perfect "show me" way of doing a tutorial. I would but a book done in this manner in a second!!!!! Just an idea.


  179. Todd Aaron

    May 7th, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    Jasmine, this is an awesome post. Thanks so much for the behind-the-scenes type look at the shoot with all the explanation. It is very helpful, and, from the tons of comments I read through before adding my own, I am not alone in saying that.
    It’s like getting to do a tag-along but from half way across the country. πŸ™‚

  180. christina

    May 11th, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    How do you rock your camera bag and purse while shooting? I’m not coordinated enough and this post made that official. πŸ™‚ xoxoxo

  181. Bobbie Brown

    May 13th, 2011 at 4:31 am

    I LOVED this post…Thank you both, Jasmine and JD πŸ™‚

  182. shirley casillas

    May 18th, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    dang! i LOVE your work. your style. your devotion. your talent. your creations. fabulosa!! i totally love your boots too!!

  183. jessica

    October 10th, 2011 at 12:36 am

    J*~this was SOOOO helpful! you amaze me at the lengths you go to help fellow photogs. i love that you took JD along to see you in action. i think the in action shots help immensely. thank you, thank you!!

  184. Lynn

    March 23rd, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    I just recently found you on FB… I’m a new photographer and LOVE natural light… actually don’t really know much what to do with my flash so I am in love with all your posts about natural light… this one is expecially fantasitc.. and I love seeing where you are as the photographer in all of this… Anyway I am a big fan of yours now and am off to read more stuf… you are very inspiring and I wanted to thank you for sharing with others… big fan.. huge πŸ™‚

  185. moi

    April 17th, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    Once again, very helpful thanks J* and JD ?

  186. Gretchen Korf

    April 18th, 2013 at 9:53 pm

    Love the sunbeam shot!

  187. Ariel Haber

    March 15th, 2016 at 4:32 am

    Nothing better than natural light!