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Ever noticed those streaks of unique lighting in wedding photos? Those are sun flares, a photography technique many couples and wedding photographers love adding to images. And it is easy to see why. Sun flare enhances the beauty of a photo by creating a dreamy haze and soft light, making those romantic wedding portraits even more lovely. If you are considering shooting sun flares for your client's wedding photos, this blog offers three essential tips on how to photograph sun flare.

Sun Flare Photography Tips For Wedding Photographers

a couple kissing while the sun shines through the foliageImage Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @apollofields

1. Use Backlighting Techniques

With the couple in between your camera and the light source, you can create a flattering and brightening effect. As you explore the art of shooting sun flares in wedding photos, it's imperative to understand that the scattered light from the sun can add a unique touch by highlighting your subject’s details. Since the backlighting could cause bright light in the background, you may use a reflector to have more light on your subjects' faces

Our tip: It’s recommended to schedule your shoot during early morning hours or take advantage of golden hour photography. You can try shooting from a lower perspective to get that sun flare in your photos, similar to shooting portraits during midday.

2. Hide The Sun

Learning how to photograph sun flare can add a magical touch to your wedding photographs. But with the direct light causing the lens flare effect, it could be challenging to achieve the desired effect. The key is to get creative and position the couple in a way that partially blocks the sun. This will allow your camera to use your subjects as a focus point and still obtain a sun flare

The beautiful interplay of light and shadows will provide you with stunning results. While getting creative with sunset wedding photography, you can also try positioning your couple in a way that allows the sun rays to be visible in between, creating a majestic silhouette effect.

Our tip: If you do not want your couple to stand directly in line with the sun, try looking for other objects that can assist in covering part of the sun. For example, if you can find a tree or building, try blocking the sun with it. 

Suggested Read: How To Remove Glass Glare From Photos In Photoshop

3. Shoot In Manual Mode

a wedding couple kissing while we see the sun flares behind the treeImage Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @brandiallysephoto

To perfect the art of capturing sun flare and achieving the desired results, it's best to switch to manual mode. Photographing sun flare in harsh lighting with the wrong settings could result in underexposed photos of the couple. By taking control, you can quickly change the settings and have confidence in knowing your photos are exactly how you want them to look

Experiment with capturing lens flare by adjusting the depth of field (with different aperture settings) and other settings. A long lens also comes in handy to zoom in on your subjects and capture the beautiful sun flare. Alternatively, a wide-aperture lens and slower shutter speed will allow more light to enter the lens, resulting in a breathtaking sunburst effect. 

Another great way to amplify your sun flare photography game is using camera filters to capture the perfect sun flare. A polarizing filter will help to reduce glare and enhance contrast in your photos. In contrast, a graduated neutral-density filter will allow you to shoot at a lower shutter speed and capture the sun's movement. Add a UV filter along with these to protect your camera lens from dust and other impurities.

Our tip: For capturing lens flares during landscape wedding photography, keep a lens hood handy to block light and reduce the lens flare. Since the timing precision is high for the perfect shots, you can also use a remote shutter release to prevent camera shake and get your desired result.

Further Read: How To Get Rid Of Glasses Glare In Lightroom

a wedding couple posing on a pier while the sun is setting in the backgroundImage Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @photography_by_orlando

While the sun can be a beautiful addition to any photo, it can also be a bit tricky to photograph it just as you want it. When learning how to photograph sun flare, it can be challenging to focus on your subjects with the bright light streaming into your camera lens. Whether you prefer natural light or enjoy using off-camera lighting, expanding your knowledge of lighting ensures you can work in any location with any type of lighting. Using the aforementioned sun flare photography tips on positioning your subject or trying out different camera settings, you should be able to get a better understanding of how to photograph sun flares beautifully in your wedding photos.

At ShootDotEdit, we are passionate about helping you grow your wedding photography business. A part of how we do that is by lessening your post-production workload with our professional photo editing services. To learn more about how we can help your wedding photography business, check out our pricing plans.

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