If you are new to photography and want to photograph people in an outdoor setting you might be under the impression that more light is going to make a better image and you may be tempted to shoot your photos in direct sunlight. Well, light is obviously a necessity when doing photography, but when you are outside on a sunny day one of the best things you can do for your photographs is to find a shady spot for your photos.

Believe it or not there is a LOT of light in the shade. It might be difficult to notice it at first because your eyes are seeing really bright sunlight and contrasting it to the darker tones of the shade. The shade will give you a soft, diffused light on your model’s face, and it will also be much easier for the model to keep their eyes open and stay relaxed. You can also bring in some fill-light with a flash or reflector if necessary.

Also, if you are planning on doing any portrait photography outdoors and there is a big blanket of cloud covering the sun, consider yourself lucky! The cloud cover acts as a giant diffused soft-box … but an extra flash or reflector can still help add more light, or even a nice catch-light, to your images.