how to take a backlit photo

white dress, neck scarfwhite silk dress, round sunglasses, neck scarfhow to take a backlit photo, sunlightwhite silk dresswhite dress, weitzman nudist heels, backlighting photographywhite dress, neck scarf 2

I’ve always loved how backlit photos look, but could never get my head around how to actually do it. It wasn’t until I was shooting with Alex of To Vogue or Bust, and I saw her in action that I think I finally got the hang of it. It can have the most beautiful effect when done right (see a favourite backlit shoot here). Here are some of my (beginner) tips:

  1. Shoot about an hour before the sun goes down (golden hour, they call it).
  2. Place your subject in the sunlight, but ensure you are fully in the shade at a 45 degree angle- this is the most important step!
    Note: Don’t shoot directly into the sun as you want the main light source of the sun to be just out of the frame for that glow effect
  3. Change your angle. Even taking a half-step to the right or left can completely change the shot. Play around with it a little bit until you get what you’re looking for.
  4. Do NOT try to do backlighting in full sunlight during the day (at least not the kind that looks like the above). It will make your subject either super dark or blown out.

Be sure to check out Alex’s diagram for photography lighting as well, it’s been super helpful!

Speaking of clothes (this is a style blog, after all), I like to get the most wear out of my clothes as possible (who wouldn’t?!) and this dress is no exception. When worn backwards, plus a neck scarf gives, it gives a totally different feel to the dress. Have a wonderful weekend!

Aritzia dress
photos by Alex



  1. 01.22.2016 / 5:40 am

    yay so helpful, thanks for sharing! & LOVING your outfit & scarf. xx

    • 01.22.2016 / 10:33 am

      you are most welcome! thank you love!

  2. 01.25.2016 / 1:11 pm

    love this post! always wondered myself on how to do it..

    • 02.02.2016 / 1:59 pm

      try it out and let me know how it goes!

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