Wedding Photographer Tips – How to Shoot in Direct Sunlight

Being a marriage photographer inside the tropics, I am often instructed to shoot the formal portraits in harsh sunlight. This is because couples love having their formal portraits shot around the beautiful beaches we’ve here. The problem is wedding ceremony schedule is usually set where I am shooting these formal shots in the worst time of day. Ideally, I would be shooting these portraits after 4:00 PM, when the light is less harsh. After 4:00 PM, sunshine can be part of directional light, that is, sunshine can be utilized for the main light coming from above in a 45-degree angle, plus a reflector because the secondary light. As I said above, it’s not always your situation. Sometimes I am shooting between 12:00pm and 3:00 pm, where the sun is practically directly overhead and making exposure quite challenging. A problem with shooting at this time would be that the background is normally totally blown out, using these harsh shadows around the faces of the subjects. So here are some methods for shooting of these conditions.

Obviously, when you can find some kind of shade, here is the easiest option. Just make sure the history is also in shade to keep up proper exposure, if you don’t are trying for the high key portrait. A more creative option though, is to shoot in the direct sun. To do this, you have to look for a dark background. This could be, dark rocks/mountains, or dark vegetation, or anything that is darker compared to the complexion of the wedding ceremony couple. This works rather well for 3/4 portraits or closer, until you have can find a really big dark background. At the beach I normally shoot, I use a huge island from the beach since the background. The island is dark volcanic rock plus a perfect backdrop. Next, shoot which means your subject (groom and bride) is between you and the sun, or if sunshine is directly overhead that may work too. With the sun’s rays behind your subjects or directly above, you will notice that how it is doing is merely providing a fascinating rim light for a subjects. That is because you happen to be exposing for the subjects, using a darker background that’s totally filling the frame in it.

If properly exposed you will observe sunlight is definitely creating an appealing rim light around the shoulder and hair. If you have the couple positioned correctly you are able to shoot 2.8, and the setting is not going to disturb your subject. This means in choosing an identification, you only need to makes it darker, and maybe has interesting lines or shapes when out of focus.

Practice this before shooting your next wedding. I hope this tip matches your needs.