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how to photograph kids: outside at the worst time of the day | scottsdale family portrait photographer

When we schedule children’s portrait sessions, we always suggest starting an hour or so before sunset. The light is just perfect, that sweet beautiful light that makes photographs so, so gorgeous.

Aaahhh but what happens when you want to photograph a child at the worst time of the day? Mid day sun is unforgiving. It is awful. It is so bright that everyone is squinting and you just know the photograph is going to be horrible. But you need to take a picture. What do you do?

Well you move the subject. You look for shade. You run for cover. And then use the sun to your advantage.

Just before this photograph was taken, we were walking towards Fauchon to have a bite of something sweet to celebrate Isabella’s birthday. It was our last day in Paris and we really wanted to document the kids just walking around the city. One problem, it was a hot and sunny day (that is not a typo!). The Madeleine Church was right in our path. A large neo-classical structure with large columns and covered areas. The kids were having a blast, running in and out of the columns the whole length of the church.

Isabella stopped for a second to rest. Keith took advantage. The open end of the covered passage acted as a large light source while the neutral colored walls and ground provided substantial fill lighting. The dark column to her right provides shadow to give shape and contrast to her.

The result? A gorgeous portrait taken at the worst time of the day.

for photographers
camera: Canon EOS IV
film: Kodak Porta 400
Lens: 85mm f/1.8

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