What techniques/positioning of subjects in early evening light?

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Lazer42 Forum Member • Posts: 89
What techniques/positioning of subjects in early evening light?

From time to time I take portraits, usually of family. As I understand it, the early evening light is the best for these sorts of shots because it avoids the harsh shadows that can be present throughout most of the rest of the day.

Recently, I did some portraits at this time in that last hour when the sun was getting lower in the sky. I positioned them facing the sun. Especially being children, they didn't like the sun in their faces, so I asked them to look at the ground until I was ready to shoot and then had them look up. For the most part, I am quite happy with these shots, but 1) it could have been easier and easier on the kids if I wasn't asking them to face into the sun like that, and 2) you can sortof notice some small problems like the kid barely squinting, as here:

... or having the head tilted a bit down, like here:

I had an easier time with the other kids, though I am not quite sure why:

What is the correct or best way to position subjects for these sorts of portraits (especially kids, who can't as consistently "suck it up" and deal with the sun like an adult can)? What techniques should be used beyond positioning to get good lighting while avoiding the problem of sun in the eyes? Are there any tips that may help in these situations?

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