Photographing a portrait indoors using only natural light will usually give your pictures a soft and flattering look. Here are a few tricks to make the most of window light.
• The hard light of early morning is softened when it passes through windows that are a little dirty or covered by translucent curtains.
• Old glass diffuses the light more than the glass in newer windows.
• The softness and low power of window light makes depth of field more difficult to achieve, so try shooting at an aperture of f/4 or f/5.6.
• Since daylight is always shifting, plan your shoot around where the sun will be in the right place: east-facing rooms in the morning, south-facing rooms in the middle of the day, and west-facing rooms in the late afternoon.
ADAPTED FROM FASHION PHOTOGRAPHY: A COMPLETE GUIDE TO THE TOOLS AND TECHNIQUES OF THE TRADE BY BRUCE SMITH (AMPHOTO BOOKS, 2009; $30)