When you are shooting the bride and groom during their engagement session or wedding day, what lighting techniques are you comfortable using? Because there are always various lighting scenarios you may find yourself in throughout a shoot, understanding exactly how to deal with each situation assists you in becoming comfortable shooting through any light. Whether you consider yourself a natural light photographer or you enjoy using off-camera lighting, expanding your knowledge of lighting ensures you can work in any location, with any type of lighting.

When the sun is shining bright during the day, take the opportunity to look for sun flare. Sun flare occurs when the light scatters before it hits your camera, providing streaks of unique lighting for your photos. When you properly shoot for sun flare, you create an artistic look for your couple during their wedding shoots. So you can include sun flare on your next sunny day shoot, here are 3 essentials to capturing it for your images.

1. Use Backlighting Techniques

Because sun flare is available throughout the day, unless it is cloudy, position your couple in front of the light source. Placing the bride and groom between your camera and the sun flare uses similar techniques to backlighting. When the sun is behind your couple, it creates a flattering light for them and brightens the photo. Since sun flare is scattered light, it assists in developing a diverse look to highlight the details of your couple (and flatters their faces). In order to really get the light on your couples, you need to use a reflector. Because you are backlighting them, there is going to be more light in the background rather than on their faces.


Image Compliments of Jason and Gina Grubb

When you pose the bride and groom in front of the light, try having them hold hands and stand slightly apart. The light will shine through from the background and help you create an artistic look for the shot. By using backlighting techniques with sun flare, your couple is still the main focus of the image.

Related: We’ve pulled 26 key tips from Roberto Valenzuela’s Picture Perfect Lighting – use them to advance your lighting knowledge!

Tip: If possible, try to schedule your shoots when the sun is low, such as early in the morning or late in the afternoon. When your shoot is during the sun’s peak timeframe, shoot from a lower angle to create a similar look with sun flare.

2. Hide the Sun

When working to include a sun flare in your images, it can be challenging to focus on your subjects with the light streaming into your lens. To easily be able to focus on your subjects and still capture a lens flare, try blocking part of the sun by placing your couple in front of it. This will allow your camera to use your subjects as a focus point and still obtain a sun flare. By having only part of the sun shine through to your lens, it will cast gorgeous rays of light into your image. Try positioning your couple so that the sun’s rays can be seen in between them to create a silhouetted image.

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 those.

Related: Find out what the best images are to take throughout the wedding day shoot, plus how to get them published, with our Free Guide!

3. Shoot in Manual

While shooting for sun flare, having control is crucial to capturing the best image possible. If you place your camera in auto, or even use spot metering, you are providing your camera with too much control. Shooting in harsher lighting with the wrong settings in place can cause you to overexpose or underexpose your couple. Because you have worked to develop a Signature Style, it is important that every image reflects it. Shooting in manual is a great way to help you maintain that consistency, especially when including a sun flare in your images!


Image Compliments of Jason and Gina Grubb

To achieve the desired look for images with sun flare, switch to manual on your camera. Shooting in manual gives you control over the settings rather than taking chances with other settings on your camera. You can adjust the exposure, aperture, and any other elements which will help you efficiently capture sun flare for your photos. When you are in control of the settings, the shoot can move quickly and you will have confidence in knowing your photos are exactly how you want them to look. After sending your photos off to a wedding photo editing company, and you add your artistic edits, your images will be ready to send back to your clients.

Related: What techniques are you using to shoot portraits mid-day?

Since lighting can be challenging to master, learning how to shoot in various scenarios can help you become a well-rounded photographer who can capture gorgeous photos in any setting. Once you master capturing sun flare in your images, take the time to brush up on other lighting techniques. Download our Pro Photographer Lighting and Posing Guide now to discover advanced tips and tricks to working with light during the wedding day.


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