Large, grand, windows letting in an abundance of natural light. The ideal setup for an intimate in-home photographer session for any photographer. More light allows for higher shutter speeds and lower apertures which translates for the client to move more naturally and photographs that only have you and your loved ones in focus. This is the place of in-home photography where the dreams begin. However, not every home or location creates ideal light; as a photographer, no dim light creates extreme anxiety for me.
If natural light was dependable I would definitely only use natural light. Unfortunately natural light is not dependable. Extreme above head mid-day light, raining days, the sunsetting right as you start getting into the session good, I could go on for pages. I have learned when the sun is not ideal for pictures how to create ideal images that mimic natural window light.
These images were created with a 42-inch umbrella, an Alien Bee moonlight B400, and an umbrella diffuser. I am a fan of Rembrandt lighting which the average window's position creates for you naturally. Placing my lighting unit in the same position, at 45 degrees on the side of my subject allows my artificial light to mimic the way window light unevenly falls on its subject. Keep in mind this can also be created with a remote and an external flash unit when you aren't able to depend on an electrical outlet. Just be sure to have a flash shoe adapter that also allows for an umbrella to be inserted
This position of the light to me personally creates beautiful poetry that has to be read (seen) over and over again. Self-portraits created with this method created an unspoken autobiography.
Let me know if you have tried this method before or will try it and your results.