Harsh and bright midday sun is definitely not the ideal time of day for portrait shots. However, you can even out the light and avoid the unflattering shadows using only one light. In his latest video, Manny Ortiz shares a quick tutorial how to do it and make stunning portraits even in the bright sunlight.
For this video, Manny teams up with Jasmine Solaye to take her photos on a beach. He uses a Sony a9 with a Zeiss Batis 135mm lens. He only uses one light to even out the highlights and to get rid of the unwanted shadows. He attaches Glow ParaPop 38″ Portable Softbox onto a Flashpoint XPLOR 600. For triggering, he uses a Godox X1T wireless transmitter.
The key to taking portraits in the lighting conditions like this is placing the light on the proper side of the model. You can see on the ground where the shadow is. Have your model face the shadow, and then fill that side in with the flash.
Even when some of the highlights from the sun remain on the arms, chest, and legs, that’s okay. The flash will even it out, and it’s the most important not to have that sun light on the model’s face.
Typically, Manny has the flash at 45-degree angle from the sun. However, it’s not always possible. In some situations, the model’s hair can protect her face from the sun and put it in the shadow, so you can evenly fill it in with the flash.
Take a look at some more photos from Manny’s shoot, and see how they turned out. Remember, it’s essential to keep the model’s face in the shadow and fill it in with the flash, and you’ll be able to pull off great headshots even in the midday sun.