5 tips for portraits in the afternoon

5 tips for portraits in the afternoon
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Hello everyone, welcome to this new article about portraits with daylight. We use to say it’s not a good idea to take pictures in the afternoon because the sun is high in the sky and it inevitably create bad shadows and shine on the model's face.

In addition, you may also have dark areas and highlights between the background and the model. Fortunately I have tips to give you to remedy all these problems.

To illustrate this article, I’ve selected photos from the last photoshoot I organized via Meetup in Tokyo's Nippori Street. By the way, if you are in Tokyo, you are free to register via the following link or by reserving by sending me an email @ reynaud.contact@gmail.com - https://www.meetup.com/Tokyophotographyschool/

Her is a link to download free Lightroom presets I used for this photoshoot : https://bit.ly/2OqdXFb


Go to the shade

Indeed, going into the shade when it’s sunny will be a great help if you want to have a nice uniform light on the whole model. You should keep paying attention to your background, it must be in the best case darker than the model. In this way the background and the model will be detached from each other, so your picture will be harmonious.

If it’s too difficult to find a dark background, you can use a reflector that will illuminate the model's face. It’s also strongly recommended to permanently have a reflector with you when you go out to do portraits outdoors.


Enjoy the clouds

At certain times of the day, clouds should appear in front of the sun, which will have the effect of a giant soft box. This is an important moment that you must not miss because your model will be able to freely move in places where before there was too much light.

Generally this moment is short, so I invite you to be attentive and enjoy when this moment this presents to you.

The elements around you

I often say that it’s important to add graphic elements into your composition to complete your story. It will therefore be necessary to observe a lot during your photo shoot and pay attention if you don’t see for example: a mirror or grids.

These elements will add a graphic side to your picture but also shadows on different parts of the body of the model. In this photo the mirror allows me to rotate the head of my model in the shade and thus have a soft light on the face and a clear background that offers a nice overall contrast.

One of the problems that may appear when you use elements, is to make a bad photo. To remedy this, take the time to turn around the model and ask to change oftenly pose until you find a pleasant angle for your eyes.

I highly recommend you to work your eye by looking at graphic images, photos of famous photographers and practice regularly. Ask yourself the following questions: why do I like this or that photo? why is it powerful? Is it the composition, the contrast or the light?

Black and white

We often hear that if you don’t know what to do with your photo because it doesn’t look good, just turn it in black and white, it's a bit true but why?

By passing your photo in B&W you will be able to create a very graphic photo with deep blacks and high lights well placed in order to have a final image with few nuances, so very contrasted.

Or having a photo with a lot of nuances but which in color seems bland. Turning it in B&W will give you the option to work on shades of gray without distorting the basic picture.


You have just seen an interesting place, but completely covered by the sun, a solution is to place the model back to the sun and have a nice backlight. 
If you manage to find the right placement and the correct settings, then the photo will be successful.

It's possible to use a reflector in this kind of situation, but be careful not to reflect the light directly in the eyes of the model! but rather on the side or back to have a touch of golden color.

Thank you all for reading this article, remember to leave a comment and follow me on Instagram @Kyonopics!