I have been using direct sunlight in various forms over my years in photography. I have used it during workshops, I have used it at actual weddings and I have used it on portrait sessions. Every time I used it I always hated the result -- it was my belief that the light quality was simply not good and for a very long time I resisted using direct sunlight.
In February of 2017, I decided to try direct sunlight once again and not too surprisingly I didn't enjoy the results. However, this time I didn't take the disappointment that I felt and put direct sunlight into the bag of tricks that I will never use. So on that day, I decided to continue to work with direct sunlight until I got the results I was seeking.
On April 1st, 2017 I embark on yet another photo session with the intent to predominantly use direct sunlight. For this shoot, I ask Lauren Anjelica to model for me, who is an awesome model and person. We meet in downtown Durham where I found a wall that was being lit with this amazing direct sunlight, which was perfect for what I wanted to do. I knew with this light would create amazing shadows but I wasn't very confident about the portraits, given my prior history with utilizing this type of light.
The one key element I found working with this type of light was ensuring the poses compliment the light. The ability to properly pose the model in such a way as to not cast any nasty shadows on her face and body was key to utilizing this type of light. One of my biggest problem in the past when working with this of light was nasty shadows.
Overall I am very happy with the images from this session with Anjelica and I know I have multiple sessions before I can say I am 100% confident with working with this type of light. The key to mastering anything or getting better at it is repetition, so I will keep pushing and so should you.
I want to thank Lauren Anjelica who helped to make this session an amazing success. I also want to thank Jim Murray who assisted me on this session and helped to capture the BTS video coverage below.
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