with Courtney Slazinik
A Tip for Shooting in Full Sun
Lifestyle, Light

It’s summer time which means that you will be spending a lot of time outside with your camera in the sun. A lot of photographers try not to shoot when the sun this super harsh (myself included) but here is a little trick you can use if you need to.

Grab your reflector and place it above your subject as a skim or diffuser. I helps to reduce how harsh the sun hits your subject. I realize most of us are moms and probably don’t carry around our reflector. However, this is a fun tip to use if you know you will be taking pictures during mid day. Be sure to have an assistant with you to hold the reflector. This photo was during mid-day with some harsh sun.

Listen, I love shooting in the golden hour just as much as the next guy. That being said, if I know I want or need to take some pictures of my daughters at a certain location and it will be less crowded or I can’t get there during the golden hour, I’m glad to have this trick in my pocket. I got this tip from Lynne in one of her amazing workshops at Clickin’ Moms.

  • June 12, 2011 at 8:55 AM

    GENIUS! What a great tip. ;D

  • June 12, 2011 at 9:23 AM

    I have been sharing how to get beautiful full sun shots on my blog the last few weeks too. This is another GREAT tip! I love my reflector and yet I hardly ever use it. Hmmmm – maybe I should bring it out more often!

    Lovely shot of your sweet one!

  • June 12, 2011 at 10:01 AM

    Can I just add– Amazon has this awesome 5 in 1 reflector- in one little compact package, you can have a diffuser, and 4 different colored reflectors- white, black, gold and silver. It folds up to a circle about 12 inches, and was less than $15. One of the best “investments” I ever made!

  • June 12, 2011 at 11:09 AM

    nice. can i just say i am pretty much the all-time-pro-reflector-holder and it is not always as easy as it looks! :) especially because out here in spokane we’re always trying to reflect any peice of sun available into a golden glow on the subject’s face!

  • June 12, 2011 at 11:13 AM

    I was just talking about this, this past week. We were at the beach and I was wanting to take some pictures of the kids having fun (it was noon, so very high/harsh sun). Do you have any tips for times like that, when using a reflector just isn’t possible and there is no shade to work with?

  • Fantastic tip. Thank you!

  • June 17, 2011 at 1:18 AM

    Great tip!

  • Cynthia
    October 11, 2013 at 5:29 PM

    That doesnt look like harsh sun in the least.

  • Kari
    November 25, 2013 at 9:22 PM

    Thanks for the tip. I am currently in the market for a reflector. I see the comment above, but there isn’t a link or a name :( What kind of reflector would you recommend? What size do you find is good? I, too, am a momarrazzi, so I really just take pics for me of my girls. Thanks for any advice!

    • December 2, 2013 at 1:34 PM

      That is tough. I have a larger one I bought for a class. If you are just photographing you kids I don’t know how often you will use this trick. I know I can count on my hand how many times I’ve used it in 4 years. I would look more for open shade then trying to carry around a reflector. But any reflector will do :)

  • Daralynn Lett
    February 9, 2016 at 1:50 PM

    I’ve known about this for a long time, but it rarely works for me because I don’t have anyone willing to hang out with me to hold the diffuser. Once I got a chance to try it and the photo sucked , because my subject looked hot with squinty eyes. The sun came in from both sides of my subject and it looked a mess. Perhaps I should have moved my subject to a more shady area.

    • February 12, 2016 at 9:05 AM

      Yes, this can be a challenge if you don’t have an assistant. Open shade can be your best friend when shooting outside.

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