How to Use Sunset Lighting for Light Portraits

use the sun as a side light for portrait photography

Don’t forget that the sunset lighting (being our most perfect light source) can be more than your key light in your portraits. The sun can act as a back light, rim light, side light, really any of your light sources typically used in the studio. It is all about placement and diffusion.

Sunset lighting is arguably the most beautiful time of day for portraits. But you don’t want to simply take your subject outside and start shooting. Take a few moments to identify “how” to use your light and your portraits will be dreamy.

Here are three ways you can use the light by setting your subject in relationship to the setting sun for perfect sunset lighting.

1. Front Light:
Place your subject facing the light. Shoot facing your subject with your back to the light. The light will brightly illuminate your subject, bringing out stunning catchlights. Take note: if the light is too bright for your subjects eyes, simply have them close thier eyes until you are ready to snap the shot – and make that moment count.

2. Side Light:
Turn your subject so that only one shoulder is facing the light. Then turn thier face 3/4 degrees into the light. This side angle will give you soft transfer edges between the highlights and shadows. This lighting will also add depth to your portrait. Shoot facing your subjects lit shoulder.

3. Back Light:
For a most unique and artistic shot, place your subject with thier back to the setting sun. On Manual mode, overexpose the portrait so your subject is evenly lit. Remember this will cause your background to be overexposed and your highlights will be blown out.

Continue reading article here: How to Use Sunset Light to Light Portraits.