First off… I don’t have to tell you how beautiful this girl is! The pictures may speak for themselves! Beautiful smile, amazing blue eyes, fabulous hair, and golden brown skin. Not only is she beautiful, but she’s also very sweet! This lady’s got it all! Her boyfriend, Chris, is one lucky guy! Shelby is a Mary Kay consultant and definitely advertises it well.
For this session, I wanted to make it like an experiment as well. We all know that the best outdoor ambient light comes either early morning or later in the evening. That’s the typical time to shoot for the best lighting. I wanted to go out of that comfort zone and try something daring. I wanted to try to shoot in the middle of the sun in the middle of the day (when the sunlight is the worst). Why? I know that there will be times in my career when I may be challenged in the moment to photograph in really harsh light, and I want to be prepared for when and if that happens. In these types of situations, we could always resort to shooting in a shady spot. With my luck, I’ll probably end up shooting an afternoon wedding at a venue that has no shade anywhere and I want to be confident in knowing that I can still get some great portraits despite the circumstances.
So I took Shelby out into the middle of a field at 2:00 p.m. on a super hot sunny summer day. I even ended up with a crazy sunburn afterwards if that makes it any clearer to you the severity of the sun rays. The sun was literally right on top of us, but I set her up to where it was just barely behind her. I tried to use a neutral density (ND) filter, but that was just making her face too dark of a shadow. I had only 1 flash so if I tried to use that with the ND filter, it still wouldn’t overpower the sun. The ND filter was also making the grass look very brown, and that’s not what I wanted. So I decided not to use it. Some problems I came across when shooting was that I had to position her face in a way that the sun would not seep onto her nose or cheek. I wanted her face to be consistent. Once I had her positioned where her face was all shaded, I added some off-camera flash, with the assistance of my awesome helper, Emily. And it really turned out great! I love this shot that I got from that day! (The second image was full shade and not part of this experiment).