Summer is one of the more photogenic times of year. You’ve got bright blue skies, beautifully green camping trips. Not to mention dressing up in your best duds for summer weddings (you look good!) and babies in bathing suits (is there anything cuter?).
But there is one downside to photographing in the summertime. Mr. Golden Sun can be a little much sometimes – causing squinty faces and unwanted shadows.
But don’t fret! With just a few tips in mind, you’ll be snapping photos as bright and summery fun as your latest trip to the lake/pool/beach.
Tip 1. Keep the sun behind your back
If you just remember one thing, it’s to put the sun behind you as you hold the camera. Slather on the SPF and keep the sun at your back.
This simple tip will make sure your subject is in the brightest possible light, and looking their glowiest. Every now and then it’s not possible to snap just the photo you want with the sun behind you … read on, we’ve got tips for that too.
Tip 2. Cheat to the side
You don’t want everyone in the group photo with their eyes shut or watering from all that glorious light, so to avoid having your subject stare right at the sun you can turn your subject 45 degrees or so, and still catch enough light across their face from the side.
Just make sure they don’t turn too far, be mindful of shadows on faces. And if there’s no way to stop the squint you can always…
Tip 3. Head for the shade
This works too! Just keep in mind, that shadows are only a problem when there is a big contrast between different parts of your photo. So, avoid a subject in the shade with a bright sunny background or the dappled shade of a tree that’s putting leaf shaped shadows splotched across faces.
If your subject is in the shade along with the rest of the photo, you’re good to go.
Tip 4. Quick lighting fixes
If you snap the perfect shot, with a bit too much light behind your subject, it is still fixable. Phew.
Right in the editing screen on your iPhone you can adjust a setting called “shadows”. To Find it hit the little knob icon that will give you the choices “Light”, “Color” and “B&W”. Click the little carrot (down arrow) next to “Light” to reveal a bunch of fine tuning options and there you’ll see it … Shadows! Turn that setting up to add some light back into the shadows. You can combine it with a tweak to the overall “Brightness” if the shadow adjustment alone is making the photo a little unnatural.
“Shadows” is also an editing option in Instagram and many other editing tools. Keep an eye out for it.
Tip 5. Keep snapping
The most surefire way to get lots of great summer photos, is to just keep snapping. If you take tons, there’s bound to be a real gem in the bunch.