Shooting mid day in the harsh sunlight can be one of the biggest fears most photographers have when it comes to wedding days! I know it was definitely one of mine when I first started! After 4 years though of working almost every Saturday with mid day sun, I have learned to actually LOVE it and know how to make it work in my favor! Granted, it can be overwhelming and tricky so there are a few things I look for before heading out into the direct sun! If you aren’t quite ready to tackle full sun yet either then keep reading to learn what I look for before opting to shoot in direct sun!
Avoid taking your subject deep into the shade!
This is one of the most common mistakes that are made when shooting mid day! Taking your subjects deep into the shade actually hides them from the light that you need to get images that have ” pop” to them! It will not only make your images flat, but also create deep shadows around your subjects eyes that are hard to get rid of!
The worst part about hiding your subject deep into shadows though is that all of your available light will most likely have a strong color cast that you don’t want! For example, if you take your couple into a line of trees mid day you will find that your images will all have a green tint to them! From green highlights, green shadows, and green skin tones – it’s a nightmare to edit! This happens because you have blocked your subject from clean natural light and you only left with the light that is now coming in through the green trees that is reflecting off of the green grass.
The idea of hiding your subject in the shade only works if you have natural reflectors or open shade to bring in clean light!
Open shade is my favorite!
Open shade and natural reflectors are the two things that I always gravitate towards on a wedding day! Open shade is a shaded area that opens up to clean and natural light! ( This means that the shaded area you have placed your subject opens directly up to the sky! There aren’t any trees, buildings, or large object in front of your subject to block light! ) This is the only time that I will place my couples in a very shaded and green area during mid day!
In the photo above you will see exactly what I mean! I had my couple do their first look in a green shady area because it was the only location that we had to work with that day that wasn’t covered in mud and had access to good clean light! My couple was just a few feet inside of the shady area and right behind me was an opening to the sky that wasn’t blocked by trees! Because there weren’t any trees behind me, there wasn’t any color cast from tree leaves nor was there any flat light! All of the light that was hitting my subject came from the sky which was flattering and clean light!
Learn more about Shooting in mid day sun here with this Free Download!