Natural Light v. Studio Light
v. Off Camera Flash –
is there one that is better?

When I started photographing professionally I was a committed natural light photographer. I would defend my choices with a staunch love for golden hour light, the gleam it gives eyes and the feeling you get when the light is just right. Spoiler alert – I was wrong.

Using natural light from the large three story tall windows at Whitby’s Little Beasts Brewing Company was the right choice for this session for the 2018 Explore + Experience Whitby magazine. (April 2018)

Fast forward 6.5 years to current day and my art uses the best light for the situation at hand. Natural light is amazing and I still love it. I still love to shoot family sessions in the golden hour but the reality is the majority of the work I do does not occur in ideal lighting settings. Dark restaurants, moody event halls and locations with different light situations in different rooms (always a fun challenge).

We paired natural light and a diffused, studio strobe to showcase A Tavola’s chef Vito Clemente in his expanded location in Whitby. (April 2018, Explore + Experience Whitby)

I read recently in a workshop description that a client was thrilled that they had learned how to shoot without a flash. They were quoted as this being the reason their photos now “look(ed) different”.

I respectfully beg to differ.

I believe studio light, off camera flash and the ability to see natural light in new, exciting ways is what makes a business stand out. Conversely what makes a professional photographer a stronger artist, more capable of delivering the services your brand, business or publication will need.

Using my Canon flash on camera to light up the night in the every changing light situations of the Drawing for Art event at the Station Gallery. The art of bouncing light is a challenge I love. (April 2019, Drawing for Art)

Instagram is flooded with natural light look alike photography – this style is a trend and it’s a trend new influencers/businesses are rejecting. Gone are the days of white walls, carefully picked accessories and that over exposed styling as businesses embrace images with strong storytelling that align with their business goals and brand.

The reality is each brand needs photography that aligns with it’s look and feel. To create content for a business that is the same as everyone else defeats the purpose of creating unique, custom and branded content.

The fusion of natural light with just a touch of a studio strobe to create this dreamy light that captured the lemon merengue tarts at M&R Catering for the 2018 issue
of Explore + Experience Whitby cover.

The more important question when hiring someone to assist you with your professional photography needs is can they use all forms of light? Studio light for headshots with catch lights, hair lights and light that wraps around the subject to create a portrait. Off camera flash which will add definition when shooting a dish at a restaurant. Knowing where to pose clients in natural light to use it to it’s fullest potential.

Interested in working with us to enhance your brand with a full range of skills in light from natural light, studio light and off camera flash? Connect with us via our website form: CONNECT


Kirsten McGoey | Visual Storyteller | www.trinitydesign.ca