Shooting on a bright sunny day involves a little bit of planning. There are a number of things you can do to avoid heavy shadows and squinting eyes in portraits and help achieve great results.
First of all, I would recommend using an ISO/ASA 100 or 200 film. I normally shoot with my Lubitel 2 camera in these conditions as it gives me a little more control over aperture and shutter settings.
Secondly, I try to avoid shooting in the middle of the day while the sun is at it’s highest point. I prefer shooting during the hour after sunrise, an hour before sunset or directly after the sun sets below the horizon. This is called ‘The Golden Hour’. Shooting during this time will give you long, soft shadows and also a golden color temperature.
If shooting in the morning or afternoon isn’t a possibility, I then photograph in a shaded area or try to diffuse the light by assembling a sheet above my subject matter. Another option is using a reflector (or even a piece of white card) to bounce back light into the shadows or add some flash to fill in the shadows.
When shooting portraits of models, I position them on an angle to form side lighting or with their backs to the sun, this creates a halo/silhouette effect around the body. I also like to slightly over expose some of my images and point my lens towards the light creating lens flare and a hazy, dream-like aesthetic.
Have a bit of fun and use the sun to your advantage. It’s all about making good choices to suit the look you’re looking for in your images. The sun makes you feel happy, right? It’s a great time to be taking pictures, especially portraits so don’t dread it!