The Instagram Challenge You Need This Summer: #TheNaturalLightChallenge

As photographers, light is the cornerstone of everything we do.

It’s our creative partner. We use it to tell stories. It's how we capture moments and show emotion.

It's important.

Because of its importance, most of us have preferences on the kind of light we like to work with. Those preferences shape our style and if we’re in business, our brand.

When I first started my photography career 20 years ago, I exclusively shot using natural light. It’s what I knew, it’s what I liked, and it’s what my clients expected of me.

Flash forward twelve years later, and I decided it was time to teach myself how to create that exact look, The Natural Light Look, using artificial light. To do so, I studied. A lot. I poured over hundreds of my natural light photos to figure out exactly what it was that I loved about them. I noted the catchlights, highlights and shadows. I would study light, noticing the way it would fall on my husband’s face as we sat outside drinking cocktails.

I wanted to figure out how to create exactly what I loved about natural light, but with artificial light.

I noted my preferences and found that understanding them and being able to clearly articulate them made recreating them with artificial light much easier. What I learned was that mastering lighting, natural or artificial, requires the same knowledge base. We must understand how to produce and control the quality of the light we are working with, as well as how that light is used to create dimension, emotion and visual interest through direction and shape.

That’s why when I teach people how to get started with artificial lighting, I tell them that if you can use the sun shining through a window, you can use a light bulb shining through a softbox. It’s all the same concept.

So… why am I telling you this?

I want to invite you to join #TheNaturalLightChallenge!

#TheNaturalLightChallenge the instagram challenge to become a master of light

All month long, I’m challenging you to master light. Get comfortable with it. Know it, love it. Because once you’ve mastered natural light, artificial light will be a breeze.

Even if you have no interest in using artificial light in your photography, I promise this challenge will still be extremely valuable to you. Because again, light is the foundation of EVERYTHING we do as photographers.

Every week, I will teach you about light through a weekly email and a Facebook live in my education group. (Come join us!) Then it will be up to you to recreate the light looks of that week, and post just one photo on Instagram using the challenge hashtag, #TheNaturalLightLook.

As if you need anymore reason to join the challenge, but I’ll give you a couple more:

First, this challenge will require you to take photos every week, which is the perfect portfolio-building or portfolio-updating opportunity!

Second, you’ll already know what one of your IG posts will be each week, which is one less post than you have to stress over. We all know how the algorithms love when you post consistently!

If you complete all four weeks of the challenge, you will be entered to win an entire YEAR of membership to my education site! That includes immediate and unlimited access to The Missing Link, Simply Posed and The Branding guide (that’s a $600 value!).

The Natural Light Challenge officially starts on Monday July 1st.

Tell your friends, invite fellow photogs and let’s do this! I’ll be back on Sunday to welcome you to the challenge and give you all the information you need to participate.