I use a lot of flash for my photography, but I want to share these window light portraits of Chris as they are a little different from my other work.

male portraits with window light


I had previously photographed Chris with another model in this room and those shots were using flash. However afterwards I had a little more time to work with Chris and I opted to use just window light for these shots.

The window was large, and it was a bright sunny day with few clouds, so there was plenty of light. I actually pulled the curtains in a little to restive the light falling in to the rest of the room. This allows the room to go a little darker and helps focus attention on Chris’s face.

I had my camera set to 1/125s, f/4 and ISO 400 and shot quite close to Chris with the 24-70mm lens zoomed to around 30-35mm. In some ways it was quite a change to not wait for the flash to recycle, and the quality of light was much softer than you might expect.

The key to the softness of the un-diffused sunlight was the direction. The sun was coming from behind Chris’s right  shoulder, so not lighting his face directly. This is the trouble with using natural light, it keeps moving, and you need to pick the time of day just right.

The picture to the left shows the location where the shoot happened, and I have set the date to the date of the shoot. The red arrow shows the direction of the sun as the shot was taken about 15:20, and I had Chris looking in the direction of the blue arrow on the picture.

The app I’m using to show the sun direction, is called Sunseeker, it’s a paid app available for both iOS and Android devices.

Here’s another shot just taken a few frames after the one at the top of the post.

male portraits with window light


Big thanks to the Dream Project team for their fantastic creative efforts on the shoot.

Model: Chris

Director: Abigirl

Designer: Réka Orosz

Makeup: Karen

Hair: Brenda

Styling: Réka & Ng




About the author

Full-time photo tutor and photographer. I love to share my knowledge and skills to make photos, videos and teach others. I write books and articles for photo magazines and I always have at least one Speedlite flash in my camera bag