Full Sun Photography Tips

Summer is right around the corner and that means beach trips, ball park days, picnics at the park and slip in slides in the back yard!  And I am PUMPED for all of it.  Don't let the fear of shooting in the dreaded full sunlight keep you from busting out the "big camera" to capture all of those memories.  I totally get it, full sun can be very tricky, but I have some tips and tricks I use that will hopefully make getting those shots you love easier.

ISO 100 /  f 2.5 / SS 1/3200

Let me give a disclaimer before we get started: I am not a professional photographer.  I'm just a mom with a passion for capturing meaningful pictures of my family. I am completely self-taught by reading tons of blogs and watching youtube videos.   I do want to share what I've learned over the years in hopes of helping other moms out there like me.  We are always learning, right?!
(Side note: If you are just starting out or need to brush up on the basics I cannot recommend this blog enough! I have probably read it 100 times or more!)
My camera : Canon 6D
My lenses I use most: 
35MM Prime lens - this is comparative to the canon brand for a fraction of the price and it has been great! Highly recommend!

 Since I'm a glass half full kinda gal let's talk about the positive to mid day sun first.  Bright, vivid colors like blue skies and turquoise water show up best with all of that light.  Where the tricky part comes in is shadowy faces or squinty eyes - also your kids may throw sand at you if you try to make them look up at you- ha!  

ISO 100 / f 2.5 / SS1/4000

Tip 1 -  Capture the action shots
Use late in the afternoon or golden hour to get the up close portraits, but mid day/ full sun is awesome for capturing the wave jumping, bug catching in the backyard or twirling in an open field with the blue sky and landscape as your background.  Be creative with your angles, let your babes do their thing and just play paparazzi.  Let's talk camera settings.  In full sun I always start out with my ISO at 100 and my f stop (aperture) as low as my lens will go and then I crank my shutter speed up in the 2500-4000 range.  It's bright out people and you don't want to overexpose the picture!

ISO 100 / f 2.5 / SS 1/4000

ISO 100 / f 2.5 / SS 1/4000

Tip 2  - Make your own shade
When you do want a picture of your subject smiling at you and the sun is in all it's glory grab a pair of sunglasses or a floppy hat to combat those harsh shadows the sun can cast on their faces.  You can also wait for a rolling cloud to pass by.  That soft, filtered light that comes through is like magic!  You get the same blue skies but your subject can open their eyes and look right into the camera and smile for you!

ISO 100 / f 2.5 / SS 1/4000

ISO 100 / f 2.5 / SS 1/2000

ISO 100 / f 2.5 / SS 1/3200

ISO 100 / f 2.5 / 1/4000

Tip 3 - Move around!
Take a test shot from one angle and then move to another spot and take another.  This is super scientific I know ;)  But while it seems simple, trying to avoid those pesky shadows can be tough and maybe all you need is two steps to the left or to angle your subject a tad to the right to get the best use of the light.  

ISO 100 / f 2.5 / SS1/3200

ISO 100 / f 2.5 / SS 1/4000

Most importantly have fun!!!! If you are enjoying what you are doing and your kids are having fun too the joy will show through in your pictures.  Don't stress about getting the perfect shot and remember that practice makes perfect so just keep on clicking!
Hope this was helpful and I'm sure I left something out so just leave a comment if you have any questions!

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