I’m looking out of my window and it’s a beautiful day. It’s a beautiful sunny June day. I’ve got some time on my hands – the kids are at school and Carrie started her new job today.
I’m not shooting today. I’ve been out taking pictures a lot lately, but not today.
And I’m thinking on a couple of things.
On days like this, when it comes to glorious sun and hazy blue skies I think of equally beautiful Summer weddings- garden parties, BBQs, relaxing on the veranda at a country house, and playing games on the lawns…
From a portrait point of view, and especially the family group shots, the bright and direct mid-summer sun can cause a few problems. Such High contrast scenes can upset modern camera no end. People tend to squint more in the sun, and squinty face can look like a frown. There are ways around this particular problem for me, and I tend to do one of a few simple things:
I put you in the shade – it’s still bright out there, but as soon as you step into the shade your eyes, (and then your squinty face) adjust and the frown softens or even disappears.
I move myself, so the sun is behind you, so you are now effectively backlit. Depending on the environment, and my exposure, your face is now in shade with possibly some light reflected either off me, a wall, or even a reflector. It’s about using what’s available.
If there are no options for shade I’ve been known to shoot in the open, but maybe a slightly different shot – perhaps the Bride and groom are focussed on each other and I’m using the shadows or even looking for a silhouette. Maybe it’s a wider, more environmental shot, again using the shadows to introduce a different kind of drama into the session.
The key to any of this is experience and planning, and being able to make things up as we go too. Sometimes things don’t quite go to plan, however, so having the confidence and the sense of play to be able to dump a setup and move on to something that I know is going to just work better can yield better results.
Having fun and feeling comfortable plays a big role in this. Sometimes things don’t work, so being able to move on to a better idea or a better location gets you there.
A lot of my clients want to talk about a wet weather plan and what to do when the rain comes down, and there’s lots to talk about, especially knowing that if you’re getting married in the UK then you should know about rain!
And then a lot of people I talk to aim for the sun at their wedding, and rightly so. It doesn’t always happen of course, but when it does your photographs can shine just as bright with a little care and attention to the details.
Be sure to check out the 30/500 Project. I’m going to be the wedding photographer at 30 weddings back to back next June (2017) and making the bookings and unbelievable price for just one month. There are still dates available all through the month. I’m not expecting full on Sun like we have today for every one of those 30 weddings, but I am ready for whatever the weather brings. Are you?