The photographer claims that studio headshots are better than natural light headshots (or vice versa).
Studio photography can provide some benefits over shooting in natural light, such as working in a strictly controlled environment (climate, lighting, background), but can also make all photographs in this environment appear very similar to each other — in a very cookie-cutter fashion.
Studio photography also allows you to schedule at times at which the weather or outdoor lighting are agreeable (such as at night). It also allows you to work through cold or rainy seasons. It’s also remarkably easy for a photographer to shoot studio headshots, because it ultimately takes very little effort. A few subtle lighting or backdrop changes to account for a client’s size or complexion are all you need.
When the location is the same shoot after shoot, clients practically become interchangeable. Yes, some photographers do have complicated lighting setups and also go through a fair amount of effort to make sure you have a relatively customized experience.
For a studio photographer who has developed a particular headshots style that people find appealing, that style becomes very easy to achieve because it’s been done in the same location using the same (or a very similar) lighting setup over and over again.
While natural light photography creates a few challenges that studio lighting does not, the results of such shoots can create very unique and dynamic shots.
The challenges of natural light photography include the environment, weather, and lighting. None of which are in complete control. Some environments are more stable than others, but weather and lighting change constantly. A good natural light photographer is able to use the resources he has available to get the results he (or she) wants.
Unlike a studio shoot, a natural light shoot is never the same thing twice. Each shoot is uniquely different depending upon the time of day, weather, location, temperature, and even the season.
Natural light is typically limited to daylight hours as there’s really not much light to work with at night, especially not the kind useful for taking actors’ headshots. And while you can add a flash to brighten up your subjects, this isn’t considered “natural” light.