Deciding between natural light or studio lighting is a key decision every portrait photographer has to make. Each type of light comes with its own set of pros and cons. That’s why portrait photographer Rob Woodcox created a set of 500px Classes to help photographers learn how to take photos in any lighting scenario. This month, he’s focusing on harnessing the power of the sun in his “Natural Light Portraits” Class. Next month, he’ll take on studio lighting for potraiture.

Rob Woodcox’s “Natural Light Portraits” Class follows him on a recent photo shoot deep in the woods in Oregon. In this excerpt from the Class tutorial, Rob explains the different types of light: direct light, reflected light, diffused light, and ambient light.

Direct Light:

Spring Queens (part 1) by Rob Woodcox on

Reflected Light:

The Last Leaves (new tutorial in 500px "Classes") by Rob Woodcox on

Diffused Light:

The Skeleton Queen (part 2) by Rob Woodcox on

Ambient Light:

Winter Hues by Rob Woodcox on

Head over to the 500px Class page to watch the full tutorial, which discusses location scouting and posing tips for working with models. Then, join us for a live Q&A session with Rob Woodcox on Friday, Jan. 19th at 3pm EST. Rob will be answering questions from viewers and reviewing photo submissions from the Class exercise. We have invited one of Rob’s frequent models, Sarah Murray, to discuss how they work together to create stunning portraits.

Withered Flower pt. 2 by Rob Woodcox on