Whether you're photographing for fun or for a business, summer is a great time to grab your kit and get out in the sun and capture some fresh and exciting content.
Due to the harsh direct sunlight we have in the summer months, most photographers try and avoid shooting outdoor during this time, but here are a few ideas to embrace the summer sun. We don't get much of it after all!
One of the bonuses of having harsh direct sunlight is that it creates plenty of shadows. Most of the time, shadows are an unsightly nuisance that can ruin a well planned shot. But, if you embrace the shadows and try see them from a different perspective, you might be surprised by what you can achieve.
Creating a silhouette is also another great way to play with shadow. This how the contrast between light and shadow can be interpreted to reflect your business or product. The style is very intense, almost seductive really, this is great for beauty products and the female form. I've included an interesting example by Coco Chanel. Although this doesn't relate to the summer theme, it is a fantastic example of how this dramatic technique can push your product to a whole new level.
Get some colour!
Personally, my favourite part about shooting in the summer is the colours. Green fields, blue skies and bright coloured foliage, what could be more uplifting?
Yes, we can all agree that a traditional headshot with a plain white background looks highly professional, but does that mean we all have to do the same thing?
You could also incorporate local landmarks or easily recognised locations into the shot. This could be especially useful for businesses that are targeting local clients. Clients are instantly drawn in by seeing a location they recognise or can relate to.
Add Some Flare
More often than not, lens flare is undesired and photographers will take steps to eliminate or reduce the chances of it happening. However, when used correctly, a lens flare can add an interesting new dimension to your image. Try shooting into the sun to create interesting flares, be sure to expose correctly for your subject though, otherwise you will end up with a silhouette, which is not what we are looking for with this exercise.
If you are not ready to shoot in manual yet, change your metering mode to ‘Spot’. Spot metering means that your camera will expose whatever is in the centre of the shot, rather than the whole photo, which should eliminate the chances of a silhouette. Using this method is likely to lead to an overexposed background, but don't worry, this is part of the effect.
Give it a go, see how you get on. Have fun! Love Sue