About Erica J Mitchell’s Headshot Photography

About Erica J Mitchell’s Natural Light Photography Style

Erica photographs in a natural light studio or on location using available light to create a soft environmental look for each of her clients. Classic photographic techniques that utilize the sun are used onsite to enhance the light quality.

When and Where to Shoot

For outdoor and on location sessions the best time to photograph is in the late afternoon when the sun is low in the sky, early mornings are an option also. With the time of year in mind, the best shooting time is 1-2 hours before sunset, depending on the length of your session. If large window light is available on location early booking times are possible.

Outdoor and On Location Headshot Examples

For natural light indoor studio sessions, midday to an hour before sunset works best. Morning and early afternoon times can work well also.

In Studio Natural Light Headshot Examples

Please note: The Natural Light Studio is available for headshot sessions at an additional cost of $60 per hour.

After the Session

A proof gallery is emailed for you to review and choose your selections.

Each image ordered outside the images in the package are $55 each, retouching, formatting for print and web use and copyright included.

Once selections are made they get professional retouching and then are prepared for delivery. This can take 3-7 business days depending on quantity and scheduling.

Delivery Details

Each photograph is retouched and then formatted in file formats for print and web and delivered through Dropbox for easy and quick use.

You will receive multiple crops as options for your photograph.

Schedule Your Session

Okay! Now let’s schedule your session!

To book a session, a 50% deposit is required. Contact Erica by email at ericajmitchell@gmail.com or by phone at (831) 402-3895 to learn more.

Have a question? Visit our FAQ.

Outdoor and On Location Examples

Natural Light Studio Examples

Using the Sky as Your Light Source

“Affordable homes and facilities designed, developed, and sustainably resourced to meet the needs of diverse communities.”
Learn more at their website https://www.hdc-nw.org/


Springtime Portraits for the Portland Housing Development Center

Group photos for the NW HDC using the sky as the light source and bounce and flag cards as modifiers to get the desired look.

We started by scouting the area at the shooting time which was just after 10am. The sun is high in the sky during this time of year with the angle of the sun.

Believe it or not, but the best weather conditions are cloudy days. The clouds create the desired diffused lighting ideal for outdoor naturally lit photographs.

We placed each subject in the shadows of a large building about 4 stoires high. The building created a barrier between us and the sun but allowed for us to use the bright sky to bouce back on the subject.

Another great option we used was the flag card, a large black form core board held just to the left or right of the subject to create shadows to help define the shape of the subjects face.

Learn more about Group Photography here.

View other company group photos here.



It’s raining. Now what? Use the Natural Light Studio for Business Headshots

When it rains, it pours right? Well, in Portland, Oregon it does. And this year even snow. This presents challenges in booking an outdoor on location headshot.

So what do you do when it’s raining or even worse snowing the day of your headshot photoshoot?

Our solution is the light and bright natural light studio located in NW Portland. With a few light modifiers, a couple poses and you are all set with a new headshot.

The photographs below were made using the studio with large windows to allow the south facing light to illuminate the space. You can choose from a handful of background colors as options for your portrait.

Natural Light Studio Examples

Living History Portrait: Cece Otto

This year will mark the hundred year anniversary of when women receive the right to vote in the United States. Cece Otto is a living history singer with her new act focusing on the women’s suffrage centennial.

We made this portrait for her upcoming tour throughout the United States using in studio natural light.

She is wearing a custom made outfit with a suffrage sash and button as women did while protesting their right to vote.

Visit American Songline – Cecelia “Cece” Otto on FB or her website https://americansongline.com/ to learn more.

Natural Light Headshots: Outdoor vs. Indoor

Lighting is everything and in photography it’s the source of our (photographer’s) work. So when considering professional photography for your new Headshot, start with the light.

You wouldn’t think that physics plays a role in how a natural light photographer works but it’s essential.

For example when photographing outdoors during high noon the photographer has to consider the following: the yellow colored sunlight and the direction it shines, the sunlight hitting green grass and reflecting up, the cool blue sky color reflecting down and any other surfaces reflecting color.

When indoors photographing can be a lot more simple but so can the background. The warm sunlight hit’s the white transparent curtains and diffuses onto the subject.

Left: On Location in Client’s Workspace
Right: Indoor Natural Light Studio

Location is the next thing to consider. Where you choose to be photographed plays a part in the outcome of your headshot. Do you want a natural environment or background to enhance your surroundings? Do you want a white background? Do you want to journey a city block or park?

Outdoor portraits made in the downtown Pearl District, Portland, Oregon.

One reason to work with an indoor studio is base sometimes solely on weather. Here in Portland, Oregon we can get a lot of cold and rainy weather which makes outdoor locations harder to achieve. You definitely don’t want to be freezing and smiling at the same time.

Indoor studios provide controlled lit lighting, temperature controlled spaces and the ability to change into other outfits.

Indoor studio lit portraits made in Northwest Portland, Oregon.

So now it’s time to think about your next Headshot. Do you want to play in studio or adventure into the great outdoors, city blocks or your own workspace?

Want to work together? Contact Erica by email (ericajmitchell@gmail.com) for Indoor and Outdoor Headshot Sessions starting at $249.00. Let’s play with some light!

Outdoor and On Location Headshot Examples

In Studio Natural Light Headshot Examples