Using a Speedlight to Capture Epic Portraits

I like to take portraits outside because of the beautiful potential in nature around us. Sometimes when the sun is very bright at mid-day it can be difficult to take pictures that show both the subject and the beautiful scenery around them. Here is an example portrait to really show what I mean.

Here I had my subject outside around noon the sun was positioned behind and slightly to the left, you can see it giving her an edge light on that side. In the first portrait, I exposed the scene for the subject, my model. I really had to over-expose the background in order to see her face clearly. In the second portrait, I exposed for the background instead of my subject. My model was very underexposed in this portrait.

In both of these examples, I might have been able to “save” the pictures with some editing. But why not just make your life easier and expose both the subject and the background properly? In order to do this, I used a Speedlight flash. This gave my subject enough light on her face to properly see everything exposed correctly.


I found some awesome examples of epic portraits by Light Stalking.