Shooting during Golden Hour isn’t just for landscape photography. In this behind-the-scenes video you’ll get some great ideas and see how lens flares and using the setting sun can be great for shooting people too.
When I first started learning about photography I was told by almost everyone that if you wanted to shoot people in the setting sun, you needed fill flashes, reflectors, and lots of other kinds of fancy gear. So I went along with it all and honed my skills but I have to be honest and say that I never really liked the "look" that I was getting.
Yes, my shots were technically good. Yes, they were devoid of harsh shadows. Yes, they were well exposed. But to me, they lacked character and life. I suppose that’s because I grew up at the beach and I love that warm, almost washed out look. Kind of like many Corona ads you see in magazines.
Maybe that’s just me. But with a little daughter who loves cavorting across the beach and the late afternoon sun I don't have time to set up or carry around lumps of gear, so I've come to almost exclusively shoot backlit photos of her with that kind of lens flare look. Of course, just my preference, but I do think It’s important to find what you like as an individual and not necessarily follow all the rules.
In this video, fashion and portrait photographer, Jessica Kobeissi, takes you behind the scenes of one of her model shoots in a park during Golden Hour. It’s not instructional, as there are no words spoken, but it does show you how she uses natural light and different angles to get some really great shots of her subject — all without the use of any flashes or reflectors. She has almost 1 million subscribers on YouTube and 25,000 on Instagram, so it's good to see how successful photographers go about their business.
What about you? Do you have any examples of backlit portraits, lens flare shots, or techniques for using the setting sun to shoot portraits or life shots?