4 top tips to shooting stunning family photographs - even in bright sunshine

You wake up and it's sunny.

In England!? 

We know, that's amazing, right? 

So you decide to go for an adventure with the kids in the countryside near Nottingham and Derby - great plan! But how do you make sure you get some stunning pictures of your little explorers?

As much as we love the summer and the sunshine it can lead to tricky photography conditions if you're not sure how to manage it. Direct sun can mean harsh shadows, squinting and over-exposed, bright areas in your pictures.

 

but how do you take great photos in the bright, midday sunshine?

 

1. Move into the shade!

The simplest way to ensure you can take stunning photos on sunny days is to find some shade. 

If you are near a woodland, building or even just a lone tree, take shelter in it's shade. It's amazing what a difference moving a few feet can make. The light will become much softer. No squinting. No harsh shadows. No panda eyes.

 

 

 

 

 

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2. Position your model carefully.

If you can't find some shade, think about how you position your subject and your camera.

 If your model faces the sun, they'll end up squinting and scrunching up their face up.

If your model faces the sun, they'll end up squinting and scrunching up their face up.

 With the light directly behind this young ladies head the light if very even across her face. This means no harsh shadows, and just look at those beautiful eyes!

With the light directly behind this young ladies head the light if very even across her face. This means no harsh shadows, and just look at those beautiful eyes!

Direct sun on the face is no fun. Your subject has to look straight into it and will be dazzled by it. The combination of squinting and a scrunched face does not create the most flattering of images, no matter how beautiful your subject may be!

The best position is to have the light coming from directly behind your subject's head. With this young lady, we can clearly see that the light is very even and balanced. There is no squinting, harsh shadows or panda eyes. There's even a little glow in her hair to add some texture to the image.

3. Think outside the box

Sometimes in bright sunshine you have to be creative and think outside the box. 

Why not focus on reflections or silhouettes?

 You might find you can get some stunning photos by placing the sun directly behind your model and under exposing them. This works especially well around sunrise or sunset, but in the heat of the day you can create interesting silhouettes by getting down low in your subjects shadow.

You might find you can get some stunning photos by placing the sun directly behind your model and under exposing them. This works especially well around sunrise or sunset, but in the heat of the day you can create interesting silhouettes by getting down low in your subjects shadow.

 Look around and be creative. We love photographing relections whether that be in a window, mirror or a pond like this shot from a recent wedding.

Look around and be creative. We love photographing relections whether that be in a window, mirror or a pond like this shot from a recent wedding.

4. Get down on their level

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Our last tip is especially useful for photographing children or pets - get down on their level. This will open up the background and create some depth and context to your photographs. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So next time you're exploring with your little adventurers why not give these tips a go?


Want to know more about our family photo sessions in Nottingham and Derby? Visit our family photography experience page.