How to Shoot in Bright Sunlight | Photographer's Toolkit

So we've all been there: we get to the location and the sun's bright up overhead, leaving no room for shade or respite. We struggle to find a shady spot, to shield our client's faces from the sun (and our own faces!) but sometimes you end up with those harsh shadows on people's faces when you're trying to shoot them as they squint in the sun.

Well this post is for you! Read on to get some tips on shooting in bright sunlight.

1) Find Shade if you can! When I got to Windansea beach despite being super early in the morning at around 8 am, the sun was moving up way faster than we were.  We found shade under this hut and the sand made a bright reflector back onto their faces. 

2) More Shade- behind a rock 

3) Always shoot with the sun BEHIND your clients. See here, the sun was behind them. The sand adds some reflected fill light, plus a pop from flash, and some post-processing in Photoshop. Plus, Sam is shading Kristen's face which is a plus!

4) Position your subjects so that they complement each other lighting-wise- what I mean is have one shade the other. See here, the sun is behind Kristen and facing Sam.  Kristen is blocking Sam's face from the sun,  but Sam's white shirt is acting as a perfect reflector to bounce some of that light back onto Kristen's face so she's not in the dark.

5) If you end up having your clients facing the sun, squinting and they can barely look at you since the sun is in their faces, direct them to change their gaze- here I told Kristen and Sam to look down and I like how it worked nicely!

6) Candid Shots do better in the sun. Have your clients walk together, decrease your aperture, put your focus on AI Servo (for Canon) and shoot away!

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