In my three years of blogging I have never used artificial lighting to take my pictures. I know it sounds crazy right. I have been tempted to buy a ring light but just never got around to it. I personally prefer shooting my pictures in natural light. Now there are some challenges when it comes to taking pictures and natural light. Timing, not enough light, weather, etc. But I am going to tell you my tricks to making natural light work for you.
Get close to the light source
For me I shoot right in front of my window. Try to get as close to your light source as possible, it can be a window, balcony door, or even go directly outside. The Closer You Are the brighter the image will turn out. If you are using a window Open your curtains and blinds. Sometimes if the sunlight is too harsh I will keep the blinds close to act as a diffuser. Just try both and see which one looks better.
Turn off other lights
Make sure when you are taking your pictures you turn off other lighting. Other lighting can interfere with your natural light source. I find that if I have other lights on my pictures come out with more yellow tones which is not what you want. Make sure all windows are open and other lights are off and take your pics.
Bright sunny days
The downside to taking pictures in natural light is that it's not always sunny and if it's not sunny you can't take pictures, I mean you can but they won't be good. Most of the time I will plan in advance and look at the forecast for the week. Sometimes I will have not the best luck and have rain for a whole week so I will just have to wait until it clears up. The only exception to taking photos with natural light and it's not sunny outside is if it's a snow day. Have you ever noticed when there is snow on the ground it gets really bright outside? Yeah that is a prime time to take a bunch of pictures. Those pictures always turn out fantastic. But other than that exception take your pictures when it's bright and sunny.
When I am taking my pictures and I need some more light I will use a white foam board as a reflector. I normally do this for my flatlays. All I do is place the board opposite of the light source that way it will reflect back on my subject. It really makes a big difference.
Don't use your flash when you are shooting with natural light unless that's the look you're going for. The flash can bring a harshness and glare to your photos. Make sure that your flash is off. It will make your photos come out a whole lot better.
Edit your photos
This step is the most important when it comes to shooting in natural light, editing your photos is a must. Most of the time you will need to edit your photos to make them brighter, sharper, Etc. My favorite apps to use when editing are Snapseed, VSCO Cam, and Facetune. And for both phone and computer I use Lightroom which is my number one photo editor. I'll use Snapseed for the selective tool when I want to brighten up certain areas in a photo. In VSCO Cam I like the black and white filters and adjusting grain. And for Facetune I use the whitening tool for backgrounds and sometimes tones and smooth. And for Lightroom I do everything else but mainly color mix to get rid of yellow tones.