SPF 5000 - Summer Portrait

I sprayed the kid down with sunscreen then handed him a bottle and told him to go do his face. Perhaps I should have measured it out for him.

We were on our way out the door but I stopped for a photo.  We ran to a lit doorway and I had my husband hold up our black picnic blanket behind him.

Young boy with sunscreen natural light fine art portrait, summer 2012

Leading me into the natural light vs flash debate.   I think pictures taken either way are awesome, just different.  I get a tad irked at the light snobs who think natural light photographers are less advanced creatures. Somehow too dense to figure out their flash.

I have this book by Patrick De Wilde on my shelf called Face Time. He photographed individuals from all over the world in natural light in front of the same black cloth.

"Searching in the flux of the light and shadow to find a balance between the said and the unsaid.  I wanted to show each individual without ornamentation and artifice, and I placed every subject in front of the same black cloth; I photographed them at twilight, under the assumption that people will reveal themselves more in the shadows than in the bright light."

Natural light...  Real, organic, honest, raw, true, revealing, touching, present, lovely... 

More of Patrick's work here.


  1. Love this shot! I hope it soaked in a little before he had to step out in public. :)

    I have to say, there are people out there who only use natural light because they don't know how to use flash and are afraid to learn (I've met lots of them!), but there are also people who know how to use flash and prefer the look or challenge of using natural light. If it is done well and by choice (rather than necessity), I don't think there is anything wrong with using natural light. I use a combination of natural light and flash, depending on the situation, but I have to say, you are way better than me at finding perfect, gorgeous natural light!

    1. Yea, I think especially with the work you do you have to have lights in your bag for versatility and indoor shots. And I loved the senior portraits on the beach you did a few years back with your lights!

      I do get flash photography envy once in a while. Joey L and Jeremy Cowarts work to name a few.

      But then my ooey gooey compulsive love for the natural stuff overtakes me at some point and I'm reminded to be myself.

      But the world would be a sadder place if Jeremy and Joey ditched their flash.