Quick Fix Series :: Natural Lighting :: Mandy Paige Photography

4 Tips for Creating Gorgeous Light Anywhere, Anytime, and Especially at High Noon

It would be lovely if we could always shoot our couples during that golden hour right before sunset to wrap our subject in gorgeous warm light , but as all wedding photographers know, its just not always possible. So here are ways to make the best of what you are given to create consistent imagery even in harsh lighting situations.

  1. Find nice filtered shade to place your subjects in. Find evenly shaded areas where filtered & directional light is still coming through – but not creating spots on your subjects’ faces. If you notice spotty patches you can use the scrim insert of your reflector for soft diffusion of natural light.
  2. Put the subjects back to the sun. Placing the couple/wedding party with the sun to their backs will produce lovely backlighting, keep the harsh light off their face, and keep the direct sunlight out of their eyes.
  3. Place yourself/camera in shade. Obviously filtered shade would be optimal but if you have no large shaded areas available then get your camera in the shade & place the subjects in direct sunlight with back to the sun. I have my assistant hold a large reflector over my head/camera if their is no shade nearby and create my own.
  4. Use a reflector.  Reflectors will bounce light back onto your subjects faces and create catchlights in their eyes. I bring a 5 sided reflector, the omega shoot through reflector, and  look for natural reflectors (such as a light concrete sidewalk) while shooting. I use the white & silver side and diffuser insert. The white side of reflector will bounce soft light back on your subject and is best on a sunny day with ample light available. The silver side will cast more light on the subject and can be used when less light is available. The middle insert is the scrim that will diffuse harsh light or spotty light patches.

I hope this will make you more confident in creating beautiful portraits for your clients even in unflattering lighting conditions.

Mandy Paige Photography teaches workshops and hosts one on one coaching for other professional photographers around the country.

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