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Tips & Tricks

Three Tips For Better Natural Light Portraits Using The Sun

By Matthew Saville on February 4th 2013

Every portrait photographer seems to dread sunlight like it’s the devil.  Why?  Well, partly because it can be extremely un-flattering, but also partly because most photographers just don’t have a sure-fire method for using sunlight to get consistently acceptable results.  Heck, if you can overcome the fear of harsh sunlight, sometimes a little touch of sun can make an image look even better than soft (but dull) shade!

In this video, we’ll cover basic tips on how to get consistent, flattering yet vibrant and dramatic portraits in almost any environment using a touch of sun for backlighting.










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Matthew Saville is a full-time wedding photographer at Lin & Jirsa Photography, and a senior editor & writer at SLR Lounge.

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Q&A Discussions

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  1. Joseph Prusa


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  2. Alexander John

    Oh wow. Great video. Thanks for the tips.

    I’m for sure going to try some of this.

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  3. TDP

    You guys do such a great job with your tutorials!  Thanks!

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  4. Ksmallcm

    Awesome tutorial.  I rarely watch them anymore — but this was exceptional.  Great tips and reminders!

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  5. Vibrant & Contrasty Portaits in Sunlight – Weekly Lightroom Edit Free Photography Tips Tutorials Reviews and Wordpress Themes | Photography tips and photography tutorials and more

    […] This image is from a previous tutorial about how to tackle the use of bright sun and deep shade when shooting portraits in a natural light environment.  To view that tutorial, visit: […]

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  6. writersbloc

    So simple, yet something I’ve always overlooked. Now I know why my rim light shoots never pop, I shoot them against a bright blown background.

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  7. Nicklas NiWi Winger

    Thank you for sharing these tips! I’m off to Mexico soon, and can’t wait to try it :)

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  8. Jon McGuffin

    Very nice job Matt..  Thanks for sharing..

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