This past week I had the pleasure of shooting with Aaron Matthew, a Phoenix-area model and friend of mine. I have wanted to try shooting a style that is a little different than my usual work. For this shoot I wanted to work with the natural light and shoot into the sun.
A couple hours before sunset, I met up with Aaron to pick out some outfits. Once we decided on the wardrobe for the shoot, we headed off to a dusty field in Tempe. One of the qualities I really liked about the location is you cannot tell we’re surrounded by the city. The field also offered a golden color that complimented the light of the setting sun.
Using the sun as a light source behind the model isn’t something new to me, though I usually offset it with a powerful strobe in front of the model… or at minimum a reflector. I intended to use a reflector this time around too, but the wind had other plans. The reflector was quickly abandoned when it was turned into a gigantic sail that tried to blow me across the desert.
Getting the sun aligned where I wanted it wasn’t as difficult as I expected, it was focusing on Aaron that proved to be a challenge. With the sun shining straight into the lens, quite often the camera couldn’t lock focus on it’s own. Temporarily blocking out the sun solved that issue and I was able to get the shots I was looking for. I like this style a lot and plan to work with it more in the future.