How I Got The Shot in Brutal Midday Sun with Model Isabel Ann

Creating Beautiful Lighting On A Harsh Sunny Day

Let me start off by introducing Isabel Ann from Jacksonville, NC! If you don’t follow her, I highly suggest you do.


Isabel came to town and we headed to one of my favorite places to shoot. For one location it has a lot to offer within a few footsteps; a dirt road, a bamboo “forest”, railroad tracks (please don’t shoot on those, ever) and a graffiti wall. It’s just a cool place to shoot even on a harsh sunny afternoon. With the right equipment even brutal mid day sunlight can be turned into soft beautiful light that wraps around your subject and makes them glow. On days like this I prefer to use my 6’ x 6’ Westcott Scrim Jim but I have used a large translucent/white umbrella or white sheet held up by an assistant too. The idea is that you want to diffuse the light landing on your subject to avoid difficult shadows. One solution is to use a flash to fill in the shadows but I prefer to diffuse the light. I think the diffused light looks better and has better color. I used an Alien Bee 800 with an umbrella as a rim light. If you have read my previous post I could have accomplished this with speedlights as well but the Alien Bee was already set up. I have tried to use a reflector in the past as a rim light but the light is easier to control and it has consistent output when using a flash. One of the other benefits of my setup is it does not require an assistant. You can use clamps designed for the Scrim Jim to hold it in place with a light stand and another light stand to hold your speedlight or strobe as the rim. This has been my go to lighting setup when faced with harsh lighting.

Enough about lighting and more about Isabel Ann! Here are a few images from the shoot with this beauty. Check her out in the 2020 Hooters Calendar and on Maxim Magazines website.

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