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How to: Shooting in Harsh Light (Like the Beach!)

I live near the beach, so of course the number one place that I get asked to shoot is at the beach. Usually, sunset photos make us be in traffic, so the best time to shoot is during the day time. But then we have problems with harsh lighting.

What can you do when you have no shade, but you want amazing photos?

Here are some of my tips:

Beach photos can be tough, especially while fighting the wind! But don't be discouraged, bring some hair ties and just rock it for what it is!

The best piece of advice is try to put your subject back to the light. They might have highlights on their hair, but their eyes won't be squinty! In this soccer photo (above) the light was so harsh! But I had my model, Drew, move the little bench for me so that he could sit in the light. I always move furniture so that it suits my lighting!

I always give my subject something to do- it's okay to direct people. I tell them to "look left" or walk towards me.

My favorite lens to use is my 58mm 1.4. I love shooting at f2 or lower because it makes my subject's background be so buttery. But that means my shutter speed was over 1/2000!

Even at the beach, you might have to think outside the box to find good lighting! Use the side of a bathroom, or a beach house, or even a fence. This pier, (above) was a wonderful shade box!

Because this spot was beautiful for light, I used it for some nice head shots of the girls.

I only had two to three spots to play around with and only 30 mins to shoot, so I had to be quick about what I wanted!

Jessica, (above) was standing against a white wall, so it made for a beautiful natural reflector!

I try to make my photos as diverse as possible. I do a vertical and a horizontal for each pose. Also, I move closer to my subject, I go from far away to headshot length.


I would love to see how this has helped in your photographic journey!


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