21 Inspirational Natural Light Portraits - dPS

21 Inspirational Natural Light Portraits

21 Inspirational Natural Light Portraits

One of the most effective pieces of lighting gear ever invented is available to almost every photographer in the world… unless you’re living in a cave (and even then you might have one).

It’s the window.

Here is a collection of natural light portraits. They were all taken predominantly with natural light – in most cases at or near a window. Enjoy.


Image by Daniel Zedda

Image by Anna Gay

natural light portraits

Image by Eric Meuller

I hear many photographers asking about what lighting gear to purchase to light their portraits – but I’m a firm believer that the natural light provided by a window can often do the job as well – if not better – than any expensive gear that you might buy.

natural light portraits

Image by Meredith Farmer

natural light portraits

Image by Shandi-Lee

natural light portraits

Image by Paul Goyette

Image by John Meuller

natural light portraits window light

Image by Mr Story

natural light portraits window light

Image by Beni Ishaque Luthor

natural light portraits window light

Image by Gabriela Camerotti

natural light portraits window light

Image by The Q

natural light portraits window light

Image by Sebastiano Pitruzzello

natural light portraits window light

Image by Gabriela Camerotti

natural light portraits window light

Image by Jay Ryness

natural light portrait

Image by Raymond Larose

natural light portrait

Image by gabriele fanelli

natural light portrait

Image by Sebastiano Pitruzzello

Image by Jay Ryness

Image by Drew Herron

Image by brice hardelin

Image by Lauren Nelson

Further Natural Light Portraits Reading

We hope you enjoyed these Portraits. If you have some shots to share please do so in comments below. If you’re looking for a little inspiration – check out these links.

Understanding Natural Light Portrait Photography (tutorial)
Natural Light: Mastering a Photographers Most Powerful Tool (eBook)

Read more from our category

Darren Rowse is the editor and founder of Digital Photography School and SnapnDeals. He lives in Melbourne Australia and is also the editor of the ProBlogger Blog Tips. Follow him on Instagram, on Twitter at @digitalPS or on Google+.

Some Older Comments

  • Sal April 21, 2013 06:02 am

    Can you give us an example of the settings ,just an idea,please

  • JohnDesq April 16, 2013 01:00 am

    It is beautiful...I use Sliding-door lighting :-) See Example

  • Kumar Varun May 2, 2012 04:46 pm

    really nice examples..

  • Jacob Jimenez May 1, 2012 03:28 am

    Beautiful photos. I especially love the black and white portraits. No light compares to natural light!

  • Schaef April 28, 2012 10:23 am


  • Franz April 28, 2012 05:40 am

    Here's one I took in my kitchen

  • PaulB January 15, 2012 01:57 am

    Nice images, I love natural light portraits. I'm lucky, my Nikon D700 excels in low light

  • turisuna January 14, 2012 04:19 pm

    I love to use natural light for my portraits, it gives proper light for the result. Besides that, the personal touch on the photographs make make the result more interesting.

  • Naik December 13, 2011 10:23 pm

    Window light is really great, I loved always taking photos with sufficient light but recently had some shoots at home with window light which is really nice and I love them. [img]undefine

  • Camera fan December 11, 2011 05:54 am

    Mmm.... I love natural light from windows. The variety of uses illustrated is great - from high contrast silhouettes to soft diffuse light for stunning portraits.

  • Juliette December 8, 2011 02:41 pm

    All I have to say is AMEN!!!!!!!!!!! I'm glad someone said it. There's nothing like a window!

  • Madison Raine December 8, 2011 02:49 am

    This are breathe taking. They're are great compositions.

    Since I am still at the begining stages of becoming a photographer, I don't have lights yet (also don't have the money for them), so I use natural lighting a lot.

    ...I found that bathrooms do have a lot of great lighting....

  • Mark - Cornwall Wedding Photography December 7, 2011 07:32 am

    Beautiful and inspiring photos, I love window light, I don't like it being winter and suffering with dark skies, glad we have fast glass and high ISOs, certainly easier than in the film days. Speaking of which, I'm loving some of the black and white conversions here... brilliant!

  • Scott LaRue December 7, 2011 04:27 am

    My attempt at window light with my son.


  • Waheed Akhtar December 5, 2011 07:16 am

    Beautiful shots. Darren I would like to put some guest posts here.

  • Viki Anderson December 4, 2011 11:25 pm

    Trying again - My favorite Natural Light Portraits: http://pinterest.com/pin/45880489923448010/

  • Paul Langley December 3, 2011 08:47 pm

    A portrait of a sleeping child in natural light.

  • Sachin Patel December 3, 2011 06:39 pm

    Very nice,would like ur opinion on the photo of my son ...

  • Jason Adell December 2, 2011 07:46 pm

    Thanks for sharing these stunning images. When it comes to lighting I try to use nothing but natural light, I do have a 580 ex2 in my bag just in case, but the beauty of natural light is hard to beat.

  • Val December 2, 2011 04:47 pm

    What great B&W images and a great rminder about working with natural light, the photographs say it all

  • Sal December 2, 2011 04:41 pm

    I would like to know some of the settings, I tried some but have problems to get the contrast or is PS

  • Viki Anderson December 2, 2011 12:35 pm

    My favorite Natural Light Portraits: http://pinterest.com/pin/45880489923448010/

  • Rs December 2, 2011 10:44 am


  • Sean December 2, 2011 10:14 am

    Beautiful and fantastic work.

    How does one get to submit images for consideration for posts like this?

    Here is a link to my one of my favorite portrait sessions I have using only natural light


  • Christie Green-Williams December 2, 2011 10:07 am

    Thanks for the inspiration...needed it since its Friday! The play of the natural light which also with the textures of what is on the picture also inhances the model.

  • Marian Adoranti December 2, 2011 07:25 am

    Amazing photography. So very inspirational.

  • Mom2my10 December 2, 2011 07:25 am

    This has got to be one of the most inspirational articles I've come across here. The images are absolutely stunning. Thank you for sharing! Going to a window now! :)

  • Ashish December 2, 2011 07:07 am

    this is what is known as a lazy blog, put 21 pictures together, give no other information other than a window is somehow involved.. and yes use the word inspirational.

    great job.. NOT!

  • Inge Borg-Guzman December 2, 2011 07:03 am

    Hello, I loved this article.
    I just have a one question, doesn't these photos need a quite long exposure? I have in my studio a window toward north and the light might not be too stong enough, very soft thoug.Or I should use the other windows in the house instead?
    Ideas appreciated.

  • Brianna Danylle December 2, 2011 07:00 am

    So many strong images here--I absolutely love this. This is definitely a reminder about how less is often more. I feel inspired... :)

  • Tony Berru December 2, 2011 06:35 am

    Love these images, especially Brice Hardelin and Anna Gay's images. Thanks for the image inspiration.

  • Mehmet Nariçi December 2, 2011 04:33 am

    Human psychology, reads from his face. !

  • novice photographer December 2, 2011 03:23 am

    Great selecrion - very inspiring - two of my favs below -

    Lighting through the hallway - but pose is my son being mischiveous -

    The second one was a absolute accident - but I simply love - in a completely dark passage with a narrow stream of soft light!! The baby is almost angelic - simply loved it !!!

  • Through the Lens of Kimberly Gauthier, Photography Blog December 1, 2011 02:57 pm

    These are all so amazing. Thanks for the inspiration for the next challenge on my blog!

  • Veni November 30, 2011 04:24 pm

    These are pictures of my daugher ..Hope u all like it ..

  • Phil November 30, 2011 04:02 pm

    @dok: The B&W image by gabrielle fanelli of two ordinary looking people is probably the most powerful of all these images. Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder but there is beauty in all of us and it is the job of the photographer to bring that out for the whole world to see.

  • Swapnil November 30, 2011 01:10 pm

    Amazing collectoin

  • matabum November 30, 2011 12:35 pm

    great selection, thanks.
    @doc: yes, it does:)

    gere's one of my favorite candids where i used natural window light:

  • Scottc November 30, 2011 10:36 am

    Great theme and beautiful photos!

    Not a portrait, but naturally lit thru a window:


  • Karen Puglisi November 30, 2011 09:23 am

    Here's my self portrait


  • Martin Soler HDR Photos November 30, 2011 09:16 am

    Stunning, I had read some tips on using windows and I applied it to a portrait of my son here: http://martinsoler.com/2011/06/27/damon-benjamin-soler-born-29-march-2011/ however seeing these makes me want to go right back and start all over again. A great source of inspiration. Thanks again!

  • Paul A. Orosco November 30, 2011 09:01 am

    Great inspirational images.

  • Lucas - Abbotsford photographer November 30, 2011 08:10 am

    Natural light always sets such a great mood. I prefer it over any other type of lighting.

  • yaro November 30, 2011 07:13 am

    I just wonder what does the photo by mr story and brice hardelin to do with natural light?

  • dok November 30, 2011 03:36 am

    Hmmm, nice... does it work with ugly people ? ;-)

  • TARDY November 30, 2011 02:55 am

    the black and whites are just stunning. need to shoot more around the window light. thanks for posting

  • Erik Kerstenbeck November 30, 2011 02:43 am

    Great iamges and article as usual - very inspiring. Now I have to try new stuff!

    For this image we tried to simulate a window with the Rembrandt Lighting and curtain. The great thing about using natural light from a window is that you can usually find it anywhere.


  • Amy November 30, 2011 01:51 am

    The photos aren't showing up for me...

  • Bryan November 30, 2011 01:43 am

    Thanks for the inspiration. Natural light and shade shouldn't be overlooked.
    Now look at the catch lights in some of these portraits. It may be natural light, but there is a lot more going on than a simple window.

  • gnslngr45 November 30, 2011 01:36 am

    So often I am so focused on color that I forget how impactful B&W can be. This inspires me to plan some window light shots and utilize the light in B&W.