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33:42 Duration

Natural Light Studio

Ever wonder how Sue gets that super soft and beautiful look in her portraits? Learn how to manipulate natural light, use v-flats, reflectors, scrims, and backlight to create stunning images for your clients.
Key points:

  • Have your assistant or a friend hold a piece of foam core for the ultimate reflector.
  • Work out where the “hot spots” are in your studio for natural light – areas where the light fills in the most.
  • When using a vflat as a backdrop, turn it 45 degrees towards the window to get that beautiful flat flight.
  • If you’re shooting outside, you can create a “lightbox” using two vflats, and scrim over the top (TIP: you can also use chaffon fabric instead of a scrim)
  • Recreate natural light by using a kino shining through a scrim.
  • Using an ND Filter on your lens can give you even more control over the amount of light you let in.

Items Used:


  1. I have spent the last years using strobes because I thought they had the best light. I am eager to take some shots with some natural light now. Cheers Sue

  2. I am unsure if I have enough room in the kitchen where I have a double patio door (8 feet tall and wide) – can I use a window that is not floor length to do this as well?? I am learning so much with all of your videos Sue – thank you so much!!! I feel excited at the challenge of it all.

  3. I am slightly confused watching this. I am understanding that good light is even light and we want even light, but not flat light. I thought flat light was flat because it is even? So that is not true if we want even light but not flat. Can anyone tell me what I need to help my eyes to see here to determine which is which?

  4. This room is nearly EXACTLY like mine! The only difference is instead of that one large widow, I have two large, long windows that come up off the floor about 2 ft but go up as high as 8ft tall each. Even the carpet is the same as mine. LOL This video series is a game changer for me!!!! I was shooting using two softboxes(incorrectly I must add) and I after watching this I am going to put them aside for now and just try to shoot in natural light with the vflats to see how I do. Thank you, Sue!!!!

  5. It says white chiffon in the item list here and i noticed the amazon link say ‘off white’. What fabric should i buy white or off white chiffon? What would be the difference on light quality or temperature between two color ?


    1. Sabbir, I use silk. It is off white, and I noticed it changes the skin tones a bit… I’d go for true white, if you can.

  6. When do you use light coming from the side (like when using a v-flat set up along the side of a window) vs light coming straight in onto the subject (ie window directly in front of them with a sheer curtain for diffusion? Do you ever so the latter? If so I’m what sitiations?

    1. Sometimes the position of your room may not accommodate a corner and straight on is ok, as long as you are diffusing the hard light with sheers like Sue uses in the videos. You can still reflect in from the sides.

  7. Sue do you ever worry or have to think about catch lights? Shooting in my kitchen with a large south facing sliding glass window… The last woman & pet portraits I’ve done the catch lights were … someone used the word “interesting”… (I think too big with me in the middle) those two shoots it was a grey day so I didn’t diffuse with the curtains. Thank you!