Where to put the sun when shooting outdoors

A client asked me a question today about shooting outdoors and the sun. If you are shooting yourself outdoors should you have the sun behind you or in front of you? First of all, the best lighting happens in the morning and late afternoon these days. Midday sun washes things out and makes things evenly lit, which doesn’t allow for a sense of depth.

Now, as a rule (that is often broken), you should have the sun behind the camera. That is because if you shoot towards the sun, the object or person will generally become silhouetted, or just not lit well. So if you’re shooting a self-to-camera video or still, you should be looking in the sun, and the camera should be facing away from the sun. People break this rule for artsy photographs and brief video shots, catching the sun peeking out from behind trees or a person. However, the early morning or late afternoon sun on your face is very flattering, so keep that in mind.

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