Lori Pickens

A young girl in a pink dress joyfully holds a delicate flower in her hand as she stands in a wheat field, while the photographer captures this beautiful moment from the side.

3 Tips for Backlit Images

To all my fellow photographers, below are three of my favorite tips for taking stronger images in backlight.

little girl in pink dress in field holding flowers

1. Select the light placement for the look you want. 
If you want flair, allow the light to point directly towards your lens 
If you want more of a haze, place the light *just* outside of your frame 

The images below are screenshots I took from the BTS video clip, you can see in the first one, the light is just starting to coming into my frame and the image is hazy.  The image on the right, my feet are in the same spot, but I have rotated myself and the lens more straight on with the light and you can see the flair begin to come into the frame.  

You can see the BTS video in my reel here, if you’re interested:

2. To really show off gorgeous, hair rim light, position your subject in front of a dark background. 
(I moved up or down slightly to make sure her entire head was in front of the dark tree line, and not lost in the brighter sky)

In the example use for this tutorial, you can even see how much better the flowers “glow” by having her lift them up against the dark trees…. 

SOOC:  Nikon D5, 70-200mm (taken at 102mm) , ISO 64, f/2.8  1/400s 

RAW unedited images of backlit little girl in field holding flowers for photographers to see before edit.  Straight out of camera shoot to demonstrate tips for photographers in backlight

3. Adjust exposure on your subject while preserving your background. 

Ideally, I would do this OCF, but if I don’t have time or equipment with me, I will adjust in post. The new Lightroom updates with AI subject selection have made this soooo much easier 🙌 if you aren’t using them, you are missing out! 

young girl in pink dress with pink bow holding daises in a field.  Final edited image with the tips for photographers in backlight applied

Hope these you can use these tips for photographers in backlight help you to create some backlit magic of your own.

As mentioned above, this image was taken with my Nikon D5 and my 70-200mm lens. I love the compression in longer lens. If you want to read more about the gear I use, you can check the In My Bag section of my website.

If you want to check out more photography tutorials just like this one, head over to the Click Community. Not a member yet, you can…. join the fun here:
If there Is there a tutorial you would love to read from me or a topic you need more information about, send me an email and I would love to write one for you or find one that is already available!

Featured Categories