Give these easy tricks a try during your next beach trip, barbecue, or baseball game!
Tip #1: Choose a sidewalk over a grassy spot when shooting portraits.
If your photo looks like this…
…it could be because your subject is surrounded by green! Here’s our Graphic Designer Melissa enjoying the sunshine while standing in a large patch of grass. Notice how the shadows and fill light on her face are an unnatural green color?
There’s an easy fix for that! Have your subject stand on the asphalt, the sidewalk, or on the sand. The reflection from the lighter-colored surface will light up his or her face beautifully. Here’s the shot of Melissa, now standing on the sidewalk. Easy fix, big difference!
Tip #2: Use a reflector to capture all the good parts of the afternoon sunshine, without all of the harsh shadows.
When the sun is high in the sky, your subject’s face will be distorted in photographs by tons of harsh shadows, much like our Senior Creative Director Chris’, shown below.
Even after moving into the shade, it’s easy to harness some of that great sunlight to brighten up your subject’s face: use a reflector! The best thing about a reflector is that it doesn’t HAVE to be professional or fancy. It could be as simple as a white piece of foamcore posterboard, like the one we used, and it will still have a huge impact on the quality of your portrait.
Have a friend or a trusty assistant hold the reflector so that it is redirecting the light from the sun towards your subject’s face. You’ll immediately see it “filling in” the shadows that appear on his or her face (without the added glare of the ACTUAL sun).
See the difference a reflector makes in Chris’ second photo below:
Even though we all wish the golden hour lasted all day, it IS possible to capture some great photos in the high afternoon sun. Give these quick and easy tips a try, and let us know how they work for you!
Have a question about photographing in the summertime? Check out our first installment of Quick Photo Fix, post in the comments below, or tag us in your photo on Instagram (using hashtag #nationsphotolab) for a quick answer from our team of photo experts!