Why are you passionate about this topic?
Thinking back, I would like to believe that I always loved light. I remember when I was young absolutely loving how the sun hit the clouds and how light moved in the sky. Without having sunsets + nature, I think sometimes its hard to bring that love of light indoors. As much as I love sunflare and seeing how the sun can capture beauty, there is something amazing about the clean and uncomplicated when in the studio. I find that it pushes me more in capturing those details + connections. I love creating sessions that aren’t about the landscape but more about freezing those moments in time…dimples, toes, kisses, dancing and how window light hits those little twirls of hair.
When did you first learn this technique? Or, when did you first realize you liked this topic?
When I first began my photography journey, I worked out of my living with patio light which was not easy. I was surrounded by couches and toys and because of this small space, it was much harder to create variety. I had to force myself to experiment with light and how it fell on my subjects. When I first moved to a studio, I really was to be able to fall in love with natural light in a completely different way. I did away with the clutter and kept things real + pure.
What are the tips you would share with anyone trying to achieve this technique?
- Find the light. There are so many awesome things you can do with natural light. Backlighting, sidelighting, shadows, windows. Look for it and get creative.
- Don’t be afraid of your ISO. When I am outdoors, my ISO can be pretty low. But indoors (especially on a gloomy day), my studio is cranky and is not the easiest to shoot in…..so I often have to crank it up. If you expose your images correctly you will have very little noise.
- Don’t forget the details. From what’s around you to whats on your clients. I do the head to toe once over….for both people + the room (hah) to make sure I am looking at the big picture.
- Keep it simple + be choosy in what you buy. Our world is a world of clutter + things. And we all know going to Target means you don’t leave without a cart full of items you don’t need! Am I right?!? 🙂 So its very easy to get caught up in the props, backdrops, and all the things everyone just HAS to have. Instead of the focus on what you NEED to buy, focus on the MOMENTS you can capture.
- Make mistakes. Yep…make them. I still make them!! I really try to push myself and do something different or new each session. Sometimes they work and sometimes they fail miserably. But if you don’t try – you will never know!
What were the challenges for you in the beginning?
From the beginning and I think I find this with many photographers, it can be very hard to find those connections with families + having true expressions with children. Its not always the easiest getting the moments you want from kids who might have other ideas. Pictures should not be a chore so have fun + create fun. You might have to give people a few pointers here and there but I honestly believe, if you are creating real moments you will be capturing real moments.
I want interaction but REAL interaction so to have me sitting in front of someone throughout a whole session puts the focus on me rather than on them. I am not able to capture them as children or the love families have for each other.
About the photographer:
Danielle Kruse is a natural light photographer based out of Wisconsin. She is a mother of three fun loving children that keep her very busy. She loves thunderstorms + sunsets and really loves dance parties. Polka Dot Umbrella Photography specializes in families, children and newborns – and capturing the in between moments of life.