5 Tips for Photoshoots in Midday Sun


It's no secret that the best time for photographs outdoor is during that magical golden hour glow, when the sun is low and light softly highlights the subject or location you are photographing. However if your schedule doesn’t allow for you to shoot at sunrise or sunset, or your client is looking for bright and sunny images, you may have to shoot during the sometimes dreaded midday sunlight. That’s why we’re sharing 5 tips on how you can make the most of a photoshoot midday, and capture excellent photographs for your clients. 


Tip 1: Use a diffuser if you’re shooting in bright sun

Bringing a diffuser and a helping hand with you (or a stand if you can’t find a friend) is a great way to manage bad lighting conditions. A diffuser will take the harsh sunlight and spread it evenly over the subject you are photographing by casting a light shadow of soft light. If you don’t have a diffuser, try using a piece of light fabric such as a bed sheet to mimic the effect of using a diffuser. 


Tip 2: Use a narrow aperture

Unless you have an excellent ND filter to help you shoot in harsh conditions, having a narrow aperture of f/8 or higher and exposing for the highlights in your frame is a great way to have successful midday images. To help find your highlights, consider turning on your highlights alters so that you can find the right overall exposure. For more tips on selecting the right aperture for your photograph, check out our Guide to Aperture.


Tip 3: Search for shade

The best way to avoid boring mid-day photographs is to find even light, which is often found completely in the shade (if there are shaded spots). Place your object on the very edge of the shade if you are shooting in the shade so you can light them evenly. Patchy light created by a tree or plant can cause uneven spots on your subject, so try to remain in one even area of shade.


Tip 4: Photographing a subject? Backlight them!

If your location only allows you to position your subject in direct sun, a great way to capture a beautiful photograph is to have your subject placed with their back to the sun. Ensure that from the front, there are no sun spots on your subjects face or light spots. Expose your camera to the subject’s front or face, use a reflector if you have an assistant who can help you capture the light. Your background may get a bit overexposed, but you can always adjust this in post-production.


Tip 5: And with that in mind, create intentional sun flares

While a sun flare can ruin an otherwise fantastic image if placed incorrectly, an intentional one in the right spot can add an incredible element to your photography. You can do this in combination with backlighting and position the light to lightly peak out of the area you want the sun flare to be. If you want a starburst flare, you need to have your aperture at at least f/16 to create one. When you’re aperture is that high, depending on the conditions, you may want to consider bring a tripod along to get the optimal results. For more tips on capturing sun flares, click here.


The next time you don’t have an option to shoot in golden hour, don’t fret. Use these tips to impress your clients at your next shoot during midday. Challenge yourself to create beautiful images and manipulate the light to work in your favor. Have any other tips for photographing in harsh light? Comment them below to share with our community. 

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