One of the big benefits to living in the NW Suburbs of Chicago, is all the gorgeous forest preserves around us! I routinely take my kids out to run around in the wildflowers, paths, and grassy fields. It definitely helps that I get to take great photos of them while they entertain themselves! Recently, we had a very nice day with lots of puffy clouds in the sky. The sun would peek out, then go away quickly. As someone who always has my camera on manual, it was difficult to keep up with the constantly changing light! I thought this would be a very good way to explain why photographers always prefer slightly overcast skies, or soft early morning/evening sunlight.
Take these photos of my boys….the one on the left the sun was behind the clouds, and on the right, the sun was out full blast. See how much softer the lighting is on the left? And the harsh shadows on their faces on the right?
These photos were taken minutes apart. Even, soft light on the left under cloud cover, and harsh midday sun overhead on the right. One advantage to harsh light, is the vivid colors you will see. The grass, blue sky, and even clothing will look more saturated in harsh light. The clouds act as a large diffuser, making everything a bit more muted.
Here is another example of how different an image can feel with diffused vs harsh light. I do love how vibrant the full sun photo on the right looks here! The sun really brings out the yellows in the grass and prairie, as well.
Overall, the cloud cover photos win for me. There is still a lot of color, the sky looks great, but the lighting is so much more even. Also, this post is such a great representation of what our forest preserves look like right now. Gorgeous! These were taken at Deer Grove East, which has lots of open space, as well as forested areas.
If you are interested in a summer family session, contact me now to book while everything is beautiful!
* Sara Hilton is a creative Palatine children’s photographer who specializes in family, children, maternity, senior, and couples photography. Sara is known for beautiful and dramatic outdoor photography, but also offers lifestyle shoots inside client’s homes. Sara currently lives in Palatine with her family: a husband who loves watching VICELAND, a five year old son who loves Katy Perry, and a 19 month old son who loves to be awake at all times. Sara is currently booking family, graduating senior, maternity, couple and children sessions in Palatine, IL and all of the surrounding Northwest suburbs of Chicago. *
Ready to book? Have questions? Contact Sara here!