Naturalistic Photography

Last Updated on April 15, 2021

leaves in natural sun light

What Is Naturalistic Photography?

Naturalistic photography is the use of natural lighting and the absence of artificial light to take photographs. It is a technique that can be applied in different landscapes, during different times of the day or year.

How To Do It?

This technique requires patience, a tripod or monopod for stability and the eye’s ability to see contrast in difficult lighting conditions. Basically, you need to find an interesting subject at a location where there are no (or few) lights. Then you need to find a viewpoint where the light is interesting and then photograph the subject. The conditions may be difficult, but if done correctly, the result can be stunning. You may have to spend a long time patiently looking for the perfect light and you may not get perfect light all the time, but if you have done your homework beforehand, you should be able to get something that will be interesting.

The most common question about this technique is “Can it be done indoors?” The answer is yes. You do not need to go out into nature; nor do you need to go out of doors. You can take photos indoor using natural light. If you want to learn how to do this, I suggest that you read through the site for more info on photography lighting techniques.

What Should I Photograph?

The most important thing is to find subjects that will be interesting. For example, if you want to photograph flowers or plants, they should be interesting and usually require strong light; if you want to photograph rocks and surf though, they don’t need to be interesting, just not overly busy.


This is very subjective, as the reason for naturalistic photography is to make viewers feel as though they are in the scene. Generally, landscape photos that are taken under natural light with minimal or no editing have a certain quality such that it is easy to imagine yourself in the photo.