FIND THE SHADE

 

One of the most common questions I'm asked when I'm speaking is "What if we have to shoot portraits at noon?" I get it. The sun at noon is disgusting. At certain times of the day I feel like the sun is putting in an effort to help me out and collaborate with me to create something awesome. At noon, I feel like it's thinking "Ben sucks and I hate him. Deal with this, idiot." Typically this question comes from wedding photographers since they aren't really the ones who are in charge of the schedule. My first response to this is always something along the lines of, "offer to help with the schedule." Our clients hire us because they trust that we will do what we need to to make sure that we leave them with the best images we can. I always offer to help my clients with the wedding schedule so we are making sure that we have killer light when we need it. 90% of the time, they are gracious and accepting of my input and 10% of the time they aren't able to move the schedule around for my sake. That's a huge amount of averted issues with light. It's better for both of you and doesn't take much effort on your part!

Of course, sometimes it's just not possible for them to move around the schedule and you're stuck shooting portraits at noon when the light is burning down with the power of hell-fire. I know, it's rough. If this happens, you have two options. One is to slightly back light your subject. Since you probably don't live on the equator, the sun will always be to one side of the sky or the other so you can always put it slightly behind your subject. This option is always my last resort when I have to shoot midday. My go-to is option number two, finding the shade. Trees, awnings, etc. Anywhere you can find a bit of shade can save you from the heat and the blazing light. Shoot your best and then try to steal them away for another 15 minutes at sunset as well!

5D III + 35L I grew up playing in the Florida sun and LOVING it. Things took a dark turn when I started to shooting in it. The portrait above was shot at noon in the middle of summer with the sun blazing down. With mossy oak trees all over the property I put them in the shade and came out with some of my favorite bridal party portraits in a long time.

5D III + 35L

I grew up playing in the Florida sun and LOVING it. Things took a dark turn when I started to shooting in it. The portrait above was shot at noon in the middle of summer with the sun blazing down. With mossy oak trees all over the property I put them in the shade and came out with some of my favorite bridal party portraits in a long time.

5D III + 35L Summer. Texas. On a ranch. Nothing about that sounds like it's going to be easy with light despite how killer the wedding was. Adding portraits in harsh light didn't help the equation much but placing the two of them n the shade saved us from the heat andgave me the soft light that I love!

5D III + 35L

Summer. Texas. On a ranch. Nothing about that sounds like it's going to be easy with light despite how killer the wedding was. Adding portraits in harsh light didn't help the equation much but placing the two of them n the shade saved us from the heat andgave me the soft light that I love!

5D III + 35L Sun, meet tree cover. Bye sun, nice try.

5D III + 35L

Sun, meet tree cover. Bye sun, nice try.