A few weeks ago I did a sunset shoot of my cousin, Francesca & let me tell you I had NO DOUBT this shoot would turn out beautifully. She’s such a neutral & her whole look just screamed boho beauty! From her effortless waves to her olive skin, she’s a total beach babe, so, it’s only fitting that we did a gold hour shoot! Here are some tips & tricks to achieve matchless sunset photos WITHOUT fancy lights or lenses!
Tip #1: Ok, let’s talk lenses. The ONLY lens I used for this shoot was my Canon 50mm portrait lens. I have the basic version which runs around $110 (I found mine for $79 on cyber monday! a steal!)
Pros: great lighting, low F stop ability, subject is focal point so it blurs backgrounds
Cons: no zoom, if not focused right, photos can be blurry, not ideal for sport or group photography
Tip #2: The wind is your friend, not your enemy. Wind can be a tricky element to work with, especially when you’re on a beach with nothing to block it! In this case, we used the wind to create what I like to call the “bliss” effect (pictured above) This is a shot that I love because it allows your subject to look completely as ease with nature. I loved this shot of Fran, it just screams “soak up the salt & the sun”
If you know it’s going to be windy the day of your shoot, it’s best not to fight it, but use it to your advantage! In our case, the wind acted as our own personal stylist, adding salt & texture to her face & hair which gave her a natural glow!
Tip #3: A gloomy day. If the weather is less than ideal, which we found ours quickly became, don’t panic. Rain, & stormy weather can be used to your advantage. If you know bad weather is on its way, put your subject in a pure color that pops against a dark, gloomy background. Now, I’m not suggesting a wet T shirt contest, but white is always a great choice. As you can see (above) it makes the subject stand out against the gloom, which suggests that despite circumstances, your subject will be “the silver lining”.
Tip#4: Live, Laugh, Snap! Ok so there has been much debate over the fake laugh photo, however, I will forever defend this corny trick. having your subject do a fake laugh works and here’s why:
When you say, laugh! to somebody, a look of confusion usually follows, then comes awkwardness & finally the ever so present “No, I can’t” BUT IF you tell your subject to make a really corny fake laugh right of the bat, 9 times out of 10 they will attempt it, feel silly, & end up laughing for real in the end. BOOM. magic. Now laugh!