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!

Did this post help you? Please leave your comments and thoughts!

What a Winter | Quarter Recap | What's New

Phew! What a CRAZY quarter it's been. This was really the busiest, craziest, most interesting quarters of my life. Where do I even begin...

School: Learned about three systems this quarter: Renal, Musculoskeletal, and the BRAIN. Oh boy. Renal was interesting. MSK was tedious memorization of muscles and bones and vessels and nerves. Lots of anatomy labs. Then the Brain. The neurology course is called MBB for Mind, Brain and Behavior. It was SO fascinating. And SO much work. I have never studied so hard in my life. 8 hours of school / 8 hours at the library / come home, sleep, repeat.

Let's just say I ordered a lot of Subway, Chipotle, and Coffee. Lots of Coffee. Bank account = Sad. But I learned a lot. And I couldn't have done it without the help of my husband, who would bring me coffee to Geisel, pick me up late from the library, and rush me to class at 8 am when I was too tired to wake up early. 

Out of milk, so my latte had to be just an espresso this morning!

Out of milk, so my latte had to be just an espresso this morning!

Now, perhaps I wouldn't have had to cram so much studying in if the quarter hadn't been so busy. Recap:

1) Reproductive Med and Free Clinic Electives - I took two electives this quarter; probably should've taken one. But Repro Med was one afternoon a week at an OB/GYN clinic. It was pretty cool to learn about.

2) Started writing a research grant and then stopped - This took a lot of work. Luckily I didn't end up having to finish it, but I was working on it for most of the quarter.

3) Trying to do lab safety trainings and having a zillion technical difficulties with online trainings, in person trainings, forms, signatures, etc. 

4) Shadowing interventional radiology. This was super random, but I just decided to jump on the opportunity and watch two procedures. That were super painful for the patients, and for that reason very high-adrenaline-y for the doctors. 

5) Shadowed at Labor & Delivery. Didn't see any babies get born though :(

6) And...of course....photography business! This quarter I officially re-vamped Yas Photography, new professional website, new professional camera. I had four photo shoots in March.

Kristen & Sam's shoot at Windansea Beach, La Jolla

Kristen & Sam's shoot at Windansea Beach, La Jolla

7) And things that got in the way. My 4 year old Macbook Pro broke and was out for about 10 days. Luckily, we fixed it with a new hard drive cable. Also got a SSD hard drive which has TRANSFORMED my laptop into a super-hero. Well, not really, but compared to before, it's a HUGE difference. My backpack broke, perhaps because of carrying so many heavy binders, notebooks, laptop, ipad, charger, to school every day. Backpack is still broken. And my pencil case broke too! It just seems to be the quarter where my stuff is breaking down!

And another one from a different shoot this month:

Catherine & AJ's shoot at Balboa Park

Catherine & AJ's shoot at Balboa Park

Can't wait to catch up on editing photos and posting!

Oh, and see my new business card :)