tips for taking pictures in full sun

With graduation parties, end of school celebrations, and those first few beach days filling up the month of June, you’ll be spending a lot of time outdoors taking pictures. Today I’m going to give you some tips on how to shoot in full sun. You can’t always time a photo op so you want to know how to make the most of the light you have.

1. Find some open shade. Duck under a tree, a gazebo, an alley, a porch, etc. The key with shade is to have your subject stand just on the edge so that their face is evenly lit and looking out towards the open sky.

2. Create your own shade. Use a fun prop like an umbrella or a hat.

3. Shoot with the sun behind your subject. This way you don’t get squinty eyes and harsh shadows. Ideally, shooting backlit works best when the sun is low in the sky, but you can make it work midday as well.

4. Look for natural reflectors. Sand, cement, water, a white wall. All of these things are natural reflectors that will help to bounce light back up into your subject’s face when the sun is behind them.

5. Take advantage of the bold color and contrast that full sun can provide and have your subject stand facing it. They can throw on a pair of cool shades to conceal any dark shadows. Or have them look off to the the side or down so that no one is squinting. This is assuming you have a subject who is able to sit still. Lol!


These two were the first set of newborn twin girls I’ve photographed in a looong time. I asked my friend Shannon, with Shannon Mulligan Photography, to help out and I couldn’t have done it without her! Twins are a lot of work! And these two beauties were already showing differences in their personality. Miss A took a little longer to settle down, but Miss S was super laid back and easy going. I wonder if that’ll be true 10 years from now. What a fun morning!

newborn twin poses
twin newborn poses

This family shoot was so much fun. The V family got together to celebrate a special birthday and wanted to capture the moment forever. It’s really so important, especially when grandparents are involved. I hope they will treasure these pics for years to come! Here are a just a few from our afternoon together.

Morristown, NJ photographer


Are you ready to find out what the secret to a successful family session is? Put the camera down! Yes,  you read that right. I know it sounds like the exact opposite of what you should be doing, but let’s face it, kids need breaks. When you’re trying for the perfect family shot and it’s just not happening, put the camera down and change things up. Mister Owen was having a great time checking out all the rocks and sticks at the park, but he was having a hard time sitting with mom and dad for a family picture. We sang songs, we played peek-a-boo, and he started to get restless so we moved on and let him run around a bit. It really helps with toddlers who are active. That’s what’s nice about being outside and not stuck in a mall portrait studio too. I’ve got all the time in the world. I have no problem waiting for the shot to happen and it usually always does. Here’s the proof!

mother and daughter smiling
little boy on his father

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