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Natural light


I am not a wedding photographer, but I have helped a few friends with portraits from their big days from time to time. My latest example is from a wedding in Stockholm near the lake Mälaren where they had a ceremony at their house and we decided to take the arranged photos near the water.

They were really lucky with the weather, and I was lucky that I had brought a big light to compete with that sun on a nearly cloudless sky. It has been quite windy lately in Stockholm, and working without an assistant, travelling light, using a beauty dish and a heavy lighting stand is the best combination trying to reduce the risk of expensive equipment falling and breaking.

One light on a sunny day…

1_Barbro-Lindgren-Winner-of-the Astrid-Lindgren-Memorial-Award_ALMA-2014

This is a portrait of Barbro Lindgren, famous Swedish author and the winner of The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA) 2014. I have worked with this organization for many years now, and this part of my assignment is always the most fun, and the most challenging. Once a year I have an hour to produce good publicity portraits that they can use for press and information.

This year the weather gods were happy and we had a nice sky with small fluffy clouds that made a good background. It is a pretty hectic schedule trying to shoot as many portraits in different styles on this small island in the middle of Stockholm, so I tend to travel light with as little equipment as possible.

A Speedlight, an umbrella and a C-stand…


This is just a quick tip how to take a great portrait in natural light, put your model in a door opening, or a step or two into it. The exact position will reveal itself as you try your way to the best light.

The opening should be in the shade so direct sunlight won’t hit your model, if you like you can always use a reflector to add some fill light to the scene. I have found that this “technique” is very useful when you want to add contrast to portraits. This applies mostly to light situations when the light outside is stronger than inside, but a light inside can add a little hair light or make the background more interesting.

That was just a quick blog post to get me going again, I have been neglecting this blog in English for too long due to a lot of reasons, mostly work. Or sick kids. But, I will try to add a few interesting posts soon.


Most of the photos I display on my blog are often done with studio lights, either in my studio or on-location. Before I shoot, there is often a plan that I may or may not stick to regarding the light.

This portrait Sweden’s foremost expert on the 50’s subculture we call “raggare” which I have done a quick research on and might at a glance translate to the rockabilly style, the word “greaser” also shows up here.

[Read the full post here…]


Sometimes, being a photographer can be this simple. An author, a tree, a silver reflector and a cloudy day. And a Nikon D700 and a 85mm/1.4 lens.

Normally, overcast skies are not my number one choice of weather for portraits, but if you add just a silver reflector it can be just fantastic. It is something with the saturation of colours and the softness of the light that works very well with faces.

Take away the reflector and it often gets quite ugly with dark eye sockets and boring contrast, in my opinion. It might be even better with a combination of white and silver in the reflector, but if the effect of the silver one is too strong, just place it a bit further away or hang a bit of black clothing on it to make it less like a mirror.