Using the sun to change the look and feel of your photos

I love playing with light. I think I spent the first two years I had a decent camera trying to capture it (and shadows) in every way I could. And I still work on it every single time I take a shot. I want light to be a part of the picture.

I had two back to back sessions at Thanksgiving. One fall themed, the other for a Christmas card. How I used light would make a big difference on mood. While I cannot share the Christmas shots yet — but will soon, so stay tuned — here are a series of shots of a fabulous family and the sun.

Front lit.

Front lit lighting — having your subject face the light can be a bit harsh, but can also create a wonderful glow depending on the time of day. While this shot does have shadows on her face, it has a warm, natural feel. Front lighting also naturally darkens the background to add a bit of drama.

Back Lit

I am a big sucker for back lighting. Depending on how you set your aperture, it can almost anything — from brightening the background and providing a gentle, natural outline around your subjects, to creating sun flares, to filling the frame with a soft glow.


Side Light and Shadows

Side light is the absolute best for making colors pop and creating texture with light. The dark water in the shadows is delicious against the fall background lit by the sun.