How to Shoot With Flash in Harsh Sunlight

Location shooting with a model can be great, especially when it’s cloudy or you manage to catch the golden hour at sunrise or sunset. But what about those times when the sun is high and bright?

There is a way to shoot in strong sunlight, and that’s by using flash to balance the sunlight out. You need to know how to position your model and your light, though, and Manny Ortiz shows you exactly how to achieve this:

Manny talks us through what he does when he shoots in harsh sunlight. It boils down to a few key points:

  • Look at the direction of the shadows that are thrown by your model and where they fall.
  • Pose the model facing into the shadows, so that his/her face or body is not covered with direct sunlight.
  • Use a diffused flash—an octabox is great for this.
  • The intention is to shoot flash from the shadow side, so try to place your flash at a 45 degree angle from the sun. This isn’t always possible, so move the flash around until you’re happy with the placement.
  • Don’t point the flash directly into the model’s face. If there are some highlights on the model on the sun side, the flash should even them out.
  • It’s very important that the model’s face is pointing into the shadows, not the sun.

photographer and model shooting in sunlight with flash

If you follow Manny’s guidelines, you’ll soon be shooting in hard light conditions like a pro.

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One response to “How to Shoot With Flash in Harsh Sunlight”

  1. Nella says:

    Very good video because Dawn show how to do great photographies in a simple way.

    Thank you Dawn.

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