Weather you're an advanced natural light shooter or beginner, timing is everything while shooting portraiture with only natural light.
As I briefly mentioned on the introduction already the basics are sunrise and sunset for best times in the day shooting outdoor portraits.
Sunrise and Sunset can give you both harsh shadows or soft, depending on angle you're shooting and how high the sun is in the sky. As well depending which direction your subject(s) are facing, away from the sun or toward the sun.
3 Important factors regarding clouds and the effects they can cause.
- Very cloudy can give you very soft light like a giant softbox effects.
- Clear skies can give you either harsh shadows OR soft light depending timing of the sunset/sunrise, angle you're shooting the subject, and if subject is facing towards the sun or away from it.
- Partly cloudy is where it can be very tricky, such as you find a location that isn't shadowed by anything but clouds then the light is temporary caused from the clouds or the lack of clouds. Tricky part is in partly cloudy you can have harsh shadow light one minute and the next minute its soft and you lost 3 stops of light, or vice versa.
Types of Light
Keep in mind the posts in the index are in order, so if you're jumping in reading the series at 3 or 5 you should really read from 1 to above to ensure you did not miss anything.