Afraid of midday sun? We’re bringing you 5 tips that will change the way you approach midday shoots!

This is an example found in our workshop, Shoot to Post, where we cover almost every lighting scenario in engagement, portrait, and wedding sessions, and how it effects your post processing. 

When shooting in harsh light, we want to capture the best exposure possible. This will not only make post processing easier but by identifying our clipped highlights, we can retain as much of the image detail as possible. To consistently get our ideal exposure, here are 5 must-have settings:


First, we will change our LCD Brightness from Auto to Manual. With Auto Brightness, our displays will make bright scenes appear brighter, and dark scenes will appear darker, which isn’t a true representation of the exposure. Switch to a manual setting so that your LCD is consistent in every image. Although this takes some adjusting, it is one step to easily identify your camera exposure and develop consistent images.

2. USE THE Histogram

Just as with our LCD Brightness, we want to make sure we can identify our ideal exposure. Switch from using your histogram sometimes, to making it a habit and use it always. This feature allows us to easily identify and adjust our exposure to maximize the dynamic range.

[REWIND: how we shot this SINGLE SHOT HDR ]

3. ENABLE Highlight Alert

While our histogram is a great measurement of our exposure levels, it can be hard to identify where our highlights are blown. By enabling the Highlight Alert you can see the blown portions of the image and adjust your exposure settings accordingly.

This excerpt from the workshop shows an approach you can take when faced with harsh sunlight to make sure you get an ideal set-up.

4. Backlight Our Couple

Highlights are always a focal point in portraiture so why not use it to your advantage. Even with overhead sun, there is almost always still some natural light direction that we can use to position our couple with their backs to the light.

By backlighting your subject you will have great separation and create a focal point in the image. See how we set-up our shots from an actual engagement session here!

5. Watch Hard Light

Utilizing our Histogram makes it easier to make sure that we are retaining as much of the image detail. However, in situations with extreme hard light like the photo below, we may have to use additional accessories.

Use a fill light to preserve highlights, this will help to minimize hard light and also to darken the image. Try using our favorite light reflector or off-camera flash. When harsh lighting is inevitable, here’s a quick tutorial on how we salvaged the image above by setting yourself up for success in Lightroom.


In our Facebook Live video, we covered a question about Shooting in High Noon sun from our Facebook Community. Check out our Shoot to Post Workshop, to learn the tricks for every lighting scenario and make your post-processing workflow more efficient! Upgrade today to stream exclusive photography and post production education.