Lifestyle portrait photographers is kinda a dirty term these days. They tend to use only natural light or available light, which means they generally don’t use studio lights. Some professionals look down their nose at the photogs who shun the flashes and artificial lighting in favor for the sunlight.
On one hand, it’s kinda understandable. This genre has gotten a bad rap in the recent years. Many beginners start out with the bare minimum; they either don’t have the know-how or can’t afford the gear. And sometimes, drawn by the lure of extra money, they decide to dive into pro-photography market without a solid foundation. And the results are atrocious portraits.
On the flip side, there are a number of genuine, skilled photographers who deliberately eschew using their own artificial lights. And why not? Nature provides one of the most powerful light sources – the sun. And if that isn’t practical, it’s pretty easy to find alternative, available light sources unless you’re in Bumfuck, Minnesota. For example, street lamps.
I’d like to introduce you to Tamara Lackey, a lifestyle photorapher. She’s a rising powerhouse in the portrait photography field. Based in North Carolina, she photographs mainly families. In addition to that, she hosts photography webinars, lectures all over the country, and has written books, one of which is a great book on photographing children, The Art of Photographing Children. Busy lady and a great example of how photographers can achieve success in the lifestyle portrait genre.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to use available lights, I suggest you take a look at her site, in particular her blog. She has tons of valuable information, and shares behind the scene shots of her setup.