Natural or Studio Lights? As a Reader What Do You Prefer to See?

Hi my beautiful readers! I just wanted to check in and get your feedback on something that has been bothering me. When you are reading beauty blogs what kind of lighting do you prefer to see used? Natural or Studio?
I always use natural light. It’s what I have an abundance of and I feel it represents how products look in real life. Natural light can look quite harsh though. For swatches and product photos it can still look excellent but for photos showing the products in use on the face and for face of the day shots it can amplify every wrinkle, discolouration, and shadow and not look as professional. It is more “true life” though. 
On the other hand I look at other websites and see how beautifully perfect and polished their photos look with uniform studio lighting. In particular the effect for Face of the Day shots is breathtaking. They have that magazine quality look. I’m sure some photoshopping is involved as well but for the most part it’s the lighting that makes for such a quality looking photo. 
So my question for you my dear readers is what do you like to see? Are you as wowed by the more professional studio lighting photos as I am and find yourself more attracted to those blogs or do you like to see the not as pretty natural lighting? I am just trying to decide if investing in a studio setup is something that would truly benefit you and the growth of this site. Please be 100% honest. I truly value your input.
I haven’t included flash lighting in this equation because I try not to use it as it is the least accurate option.
P.S. If you like what you see on Perilously Pale and haven’t followed/subscribed to this site yet please do so on the right side bar. It would really make my day!
Christa xoxo

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  • Liz Fahy Scott
    July 24, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    I prefer natural lighting because it gives me a better idea of how the products will really look. It’s also why I seek out beauty bloggers with skin coloring similar to mine.

  • delicate hummingbird.
    July 24, 2012 at 4:07 PM

    as a blogger myself, i always prefer natural light. direct sunlight for the swatches (if possible) and indirect, soft light for fotd shots – so my window is my best friend. to showcase shimmer effects, i also use flashlight. last year i tried to build a lightbox as i planned to use it for photographing swatches in the evenings or in winter in general, but even with a daylight-lightbulb i didn’t like how the swatches turned out. surely my lighting wasn’t of the super-professional kind but to be true i’m not willing to invest into this only for my non-commercial, no-profit blog. i do still like and use my light-box for product photography once in a while, though!

  • RileyMariesMom
    July 24, 2012 at 5:39 PM

    I prefer natural light for swatches and fotd. For me I like to know how the colors look in real life. That’s why I enjoy reading blogs. I love seeing everyday women giving their honest opinions on different makeup and how they use it. I like that it’s less glossy then a magazine. I don’t mind studio lighting for pictures of the packaging and similar things like that.

  • makeup magpie
    July 25, 2012 at 2:24 PM

    Speaking as a blog reader and part-time blogger 🙂 I like to see photos taken in either type of lighting, but only as long as they are bright enough to show detail.

    I take swatch photos outdoors in full sunlight and face shots indoors using the weaker sunlight that comes in my windows. If I the weather is cloudy/stormy I resort to cheap flourescent lighting. I believe very bright sunlight is second to none for capturing shimmer in products.

    There are many cheap “table-top” lighting setups sold on, etc., but in most of these the lamps provided simply aren’t powerful enough, so you might still have to spend time tweaking in Photoshop to achieve a really bright, crisp photo. In my opinion, in the long run, it is better to make a one-time investment in professional-grade lamps. It would be so helpful and convenient for the bleak winter months when you can’t get outside or there is no sun to shoot photos. 🙂


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About the Editor

Christa Potter is a professional makeup artist with a passion for introducing women to the newest and best in beauty with a touch of fashion and lifestyle.

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