EP 25: Five Easy Tips for Shooting in Bright Sunlight

Here we go, welcome to the show! Another episode of the photo business help podcast! Thank you all for listening and sharing this with your friends. Our community is growing, which means more people are getting the help they need, which is why I’m here.

Before we dive into today’s show (my favorite five fixes for shooting in noon sunlight), I’d like to share a recent itunes review. It’s my way of giving you guys a shout out for supporting the show.

This week’s review is from Meghan. She says:

Perfect nuggets of inspiration

If you’ve been looking for a well rounded photography business podcast this is it! I stumbled upon Natalie on Instagram and fell in love with her style and nuggets of not only technical photo knowledge but her REAL life coping advice with running a small business. I listen to her podcasts while getting my kiddos breakfast ready and I just love the inspiration and ah ha moments I get from just 10 minutes. This podcast is something I didn’t know I needed.

I love this, thank you Meghan. Thanks for drawing attention to the holistic approach of how to cope with running a biz, not just the technical running of it. I really appreciate you and your support of the show, thank you.

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Okay, onto the show! 

Cover image for episode 25 of the photo business help podcast tips for shooting in bright sunlight

Today I’m coming at you from Minneapolis, juuuust getting ready to move into my new place. Yep, Minneapolis, not Austin. There are a few reasons for this, which I’ll share in an upcoming episode.

As with all things, nothing is permanent (parenting might come close) but even then, life evolves and our routines inevitably change. I think this is a wonderful thing. It helps me to make decisions when I’m feeling a little stuck because I know that I can always change it. Change is the only thing that’s guaranteed in this crazy universe, even gravity is questionable in some circles.

Anyway, I was feeling a little off on our apartment search in Austin. I love the town, but I have a couple of big things cooking business-wise and being near a community that can support me was pulling me. At least for this next phase.

I believe fiercely in listening to your intuition. I’ve learned that our intuition is one of our strongest guides, and every single time I’ve listened I’ve been glad I did. For me, when my intuition is off, I literally feel pressure in my solar plexus. It’s night and day when I’m aligned or not.

Anyway, so I listened. I explored options, talked it over and over with my partner, and decided that Minneapolis for the next year-long lease is the place to be! So listen to that voice, it’s there for all of your decision making, and sometimes you can’t see the whole reason why, but pay attention.

Today I want to help you with some tips for shooting in noon or high sunlight. It’s summer, so we run into this a lot as photographers. It can be beautiful or tricky. 

Sometimes you show up to the shoot and a little panic sets in and you fall out of your groove a little. That little voice starts up, “you know this isn’t going to be as good as sunset…” 

You do your best but leave the shoot feeling a little defeated and unsure.

Trust me. I’ve been there many times. That’s why I’ve put together my FIVE FAVE FIXES for that bright as hell, noontime sun.


Yep, seems basic, but it helps a lot. Usually there will be enough enough ambient light floating around on a sunny day so things don’t look dark or dreary.

It’s okay to blow your highlights a little here, if you like that kind of look. Better, in my opinion, than dark circles and harsh shadows!


Yeah, just get out of the sun altogether. This might not be possible, but if you’re near a space with a lot of windows like the one sampled above, noon sunlight is almost ideal. It makes for some bright, clean photos.

Try standing by a window in this scenario, too, but make sure it’s indirect sunlight coming through or you may as well be outside in it.


When it’s bright outside, the line between the sunlight and a shaded area is bold. Ask your subject to stand in the shade BUT at the very edge of the shadow line where the sun line starts. 

You’ll notice all of the beautiful bright light bounce into your frame while they are still sheltered from those crazy beams directly above. 


Sometimes you just have to be in it. So make it work. You’ll have to crank down low on the ISO and up on aperture and shutter speed, but the final effect can be beautiful. 

You’ll have harsh shadows in this instance, so try and get the best features of your subject in as much sunlight as you can.


Doorways from the outside into a house or building can be magic. The darkness behind your subject if they’re standing in a doorway will really make your subject pop. Just make sure there isn’t any direct light on the subject, they may need to step back into the doorway a couple of steps.

Happy shooting!

That’s it for today’s show. Remember to support for free by leaving a review and sharing with friends. It helps me reach more people like you who want to learn! that’s

Remember, in all you want to achieve, consistency is key.



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