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How I used Natural light to photograph Kate Spade bag

How I used Natural light to photograph Kate Spade bag

Kate Spade bag


Past few years, I noticed natural lights are on trend in the photography business. Magazines, social media, and photography industry favor natural light over studio light. I think it is because of an advanced digital technology -- as the cameras become better and can function well in the low light situation, there is low demand for studio lighting. It is not always the case in the advertising and commercial field but I see it a lot in the popular, affordable medium. 

I am not against this, it is something I noticed throughout my time at Art Center and afterward. I do love to play with natural lighting myself but you cannot do it by yourself.  It is not as compromising as studio light because you have no control over it. Especially in Winter Solstice, the sun moves faster and sets earlier than Summer Solstice. Every minute counts. 

This documentary about Herb Ritts talks about how well Herb Ritts uses natural light and how much he understands the natural sun. 

However, the beauty of the natural lighting is magical. When used right, you get to create lighting that studio lighting cannot produce. I want to create more photographs with natural lighting and apply my studio skill to it. Toward the end of the year at Art Center, I realized I like mixing continuous/ambient light with studio light. Using studio light as secondary and ambient light as the key. I want to improve that skill to stand out from the photography who only uses natural light. 

Shavonne Wong wrote an article about Mixing harsh shadowy natural light with Artificial Light and I think it is a wort a read to learn how to mix natural light with studio light. 


 I decided to create Kate Spade photograph to expand my portfolio and to show the clients that I am versatile and like to play around with my medium. 

I used a window that is facing SW starting at 1 pm in January in California. Living in California, you get the best harsh lighting.

first shot


The struggle I had during the shoot was how fast the light was moving and changing the light direction on the product. when I first started the shoot, the sun was perpendicular to the subject but toward the final shot, the sun was 35˚ front of the the subject. I had to composite the side light texture of the product from the 1 pm sun to the final shot and the shadow. 



  1. Nikon D7000
  2. Vanguard Tripod 
  3. Natural Window lighting around 3 pm
  4. matt silver card
  5. color checker
  6. Pink frosted filter 
  7. wildflower
  8. small tree branch

Set up 

Kate spade Lighting Set up 

Photos I got from the session 


I hope you guys found this informative. If you have any question, ask me in the comment section. I will take pictures of the BTS more often. I tend to forget the take BTS photos and my set up.

Check more of my product photos at

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