When I ask people if they have a preference on whether their shoot is on a weekday or a weekend when trying to find a date to book their shoot in, most of them come back with: could you book me in for a sunny day?
Well, I reckon I would be very rich if I could predict the forecast that far in advance, but ultimately, I just wanted to explain to you why a sunny day isn't necessarily the best weather for your shoot! Don't all shout at me at once - I know we all wish for more sunny days here in the UK, but trust me:
Firstly, during your shoot on a sunny day, I will actually seek out the shade - even if it is just a tiny patch along a path, as you can see in the images above. Why? Well, direct sunlight can be very harsh and unflattering. Depending on where abouts the sun is, it'll play havoc with shapes on your face, casting shadows here there and everywhere. A prime example of this is when the sun is directly above you: the sun will catch on the top of your head creating some very unwanted shadows around your eyes and will really pick out the shape of your eye sockets which doesn't sound very appearling, does it?
Additionally, if it's too bright, we will seek the shade for another reason: we don't want you squinting in the photographs! It's also a nightmare for me fiddling around with the settings to ensure we expose enough of you both, without loosing too much in the shadows or creating a blaring white skin tone.
When can the sun work in our favour then? Photographers refer to the best light of the day as 'golden hour.' This is the hour at either end of the day, during sunrise and sunset when the sun is at it's lowest point. It casts a beautiful golden colour across the landscape, creating a gorgeous glow on the skin and bringing a very atmospheric feel to the photographs. I love shooting at these times of day - they will vary quite a lot throughout the year.
Winter always provides us with the best sunrises - here's Dolly on a cold misty morning enjoying some hay.
I always cross my fingers very tightly for an overcast but bright day for the perfect shoot conditions to make the most of the location. However, fear not - I've got tricks for shooting in every light that faces me during your shoot, that's part of the challenge shooting without artificial lighting!