I got to thinking about how I rarely pull out my camera during the harsh midday sun to photography my family. I am more likely to just take a quick snaphot with my iphone considering the squinty eyes and harsh shadows. However, often times the most family fun can happen during this time. What if I could change my outlook by learning to embrace the sun with camera in hand instead of cringing from it. The following are some tips that I have learned along the way that may help you with your summer candids.
1). Capture activities instead of close up portraits. Try stepping back and including the environment. Look for vibrant colors or interesting surroundings that will compliment your subjects.
2). Use open shade. Look for foliage, overhangs, tunnels, decks, cliffs or beach umbrellas. Just be watchful of dappled light falling on your subjects. No shade around for miles? Try shooting with your subjects facing away from the sun to avoid harsh shadows or raccoon eyes. Hats and sunglasses can also help with this (and look adorable as well!).
3). Keep a look out for natural reflectors such as sand or patios to bounce light onto your subjects face.
4). Move around your subjects until you get the light falling on them in a pleasing way. Sometimes just changing your position can make all the difference!
5). Get in close and focus on the details instead of the face. Things like sandy toes, hands holding a flower or pushing a truck are great ways to add to the story.
6). Include interesting shadows. Lines, patterns and shapes can be used to create an interesting composition and lead the viewer to your subjects.
7). Contrasting highlights and shadows can be great for black and white images. Most cameras (and phones) allow you to shoot in black and white so that you immediately see the results. This will help you learn to see in black and white before you even press the shutter!
So don't keep your camera tucked away during those bright summer days!