Studio photography allows total control of lighting, backgrounds, and temperature, and while this control is favorable, it comes with a cost. Studio time can be expensive in New York City, often adding hundreds of dollars to the price of a photo session. While outdoor photography relinquishes all of the control that studio photography offers, there is one compelling reason to try your photo session outside in natural light: the rich, beautiful light from a golden sunset. Try as you might, you can’t replicate an authentic sunset in studio.

Using minimal equipment, we were able to use a location, a plan, and half an hour to create this enchanting natural light portraiture. Sunsets are fleeting, so photo shoots like these are always fast-paced. That doesn’t mean it’s stressful, though. We simply move quickly and concentrate on the business at hand. There’s always room for fun afterwards.

This portrait balances cool and warm earth tones, so there’s a mix of cool blues in the background and warm browns in the model’s hair, skin, and jacket. Everything is accented by the glorious sunset behind her. Notice how the sunset creates a golden outline to her afro and the epaulets on her jacket.

Consider an outdoor session the next time you want portraits. While a studio offers many benefits, you don’t need a studio for great portraiture. A good location and a golden sunset can give your photos the extra radiance to really shine.

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