heather stockett alumni interview | natural light with atmosphere

natural light photography workshop

It’s a monthly occurrence – you get the open registration email in, you run over and read all the information provided on all the incredible photography workshops available, but you wonder, “which one is right for me?”  We may be a little biased (we think all the workshops are amazing), but today we’d like you to look a little closer at CMmentor Megan Squire‘s Shooting 201: Natural Light With Atmosphere online photography workshop through CMU.  Instead of having Megan come over and tell you how awesome her course is we thought we’d let one of her former students share her perspective on it.  Today we bring you Heather Stockett, NLWA workshop alum, in a mini interview about how she feels about this course!

What’s in your bag/what do you shoot with?

Canon 5D Mark ii, 50mm 1.4, 85mm 1.2L, 35mm 1.4L and an expodisc.

What drew you to the Natural Light With Atmosphere photography workshop and why did you originally sign up for the course?

I absolutely LOVE the idea of being able to shoot in ANY kind of atmosphere! That and the cute photo of the little boys in the truck.

What was your most challenging/intimidating atmospheric element before taking the course? Do you feel more confident shooting in this condition now?

Shooting in broad daylight. Can we say raccoon eyes? I am a mother to 3 little boys who love to go outside to play at the worst possible time for photos (they really should plan better). After reading Megan’s very informative PDF and taking the class I no longer cringe at the thought of high noon play time.

How has your work/vision changed since taking NLWA? How do you see yourself applying these new techniques/knowledge to your future photographic endeavors?

I have always adored backlit photos whether it’s dreamy, hazy light or sunflare. Megan helped me take my back lighting photos to a new level and I cannot thank her enough for that. This class doesn’t necessarily have to only be used for outdoors. I used some of the knowledge I gained on a recent indoor newborn session with indoor backlight. Worked like a charm!

Why did you choose full participation over a study along? Do you think that was beneficial?

I am the type of person that needs feedback and wants to ask questions. I also loved the interactions and friendships I made with my classmates – one of the best parts of the class! I believe that taking the full participation gave me the extra push I needed. Megan and the teaching assistants have a great way of giving feedback and advice that helped me to visualize my end goal. I would not have gotten that with a study along.

What weather element is your favorite to photograph in?

Back light. You cannot beat the enchantment and magical light that happens during the golden hour.

Which week/assignment was your favorite?

Even though I love the golden hour, my favorite week was the last week. I had the BEST time with my 4 year old, Jackson, playing in the rain. I’m sure my neighbors thought I was crazy, shooting in the pouring down rain with a Ziploc bag over my lens, but Jackson had a great time jumping in the biggest mud puddle he could find. Watching the pure joy in his face was priceless, not to mention I got to learn something in the process.

Thank you Heather for this candid interview!

Are you interested in taking Megan’s incredible natural light workshop?  Class starts Monday August 27th and there are just a few seats left.  All study along seats are sold out but if you want one of the few full participation seats left, hurry on over and grab a seat here before they’re all sold out!  Have you already taken this photography class?  We’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below!

Read all photography interviews here.


  • Heidi G says:

    Wow! Gorgeous images and processing. *adds class to wish list*

  • Niki Bradley says:

    Love this perspective. Someday I hope to attend a workshop as well!! Thank you for the post. LOVE the images!

  • Betty Wardlow King says:

    A very nice job done. Heather, I love your initials hcs with the HEART over the S. Beautiful……….. I love hearts and crosses. You have a beautiful family. Remember, you are and will always be the QUEEN<3<3

  • cgoemans says:

    Adding another class to my wish list! Thanks for sharing :)

  • Carla Bagley says:

    i took this course as a SA and LOVED it!! The editing tips were also amazing!

  • Colie J says:

    I took this workshop SA and I will say the feedback you get on your work in FP is amazing.

  • What I really want to see is the shots she snagged in the rain! :) We live in Kodiak, Alaska and it rains/snows about 80% of the year. I'd love some fun ideas on shooting my 4 year old in the puddles.

  • Hali says:

    Amazing images! And so fun to hear the experience of an alum! I'm wondering if you need to take natural lighting 101 to take this?…I have taken shooting 201 but not lighting 101, and I know it mentions both of those on the prerequisite section.

  • Tami Johnson says:

    Heather, I love this! Wonderful interview and beautiful images!

  • Spot on with this write-up, I seriously believe that this amazing site needs a lot more attention. I’ll probably be returning to read through more, thanks for the advice!

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