Backlit photos are mostly my favorite. Those gorgeous sunset pictures with that romantic and whimsical vibe are all I live for.
The secret to achieve that look, with the airy and bright, yet crispy and fully colored images, is all in the right exposure, so if your camera mode is on "AUTO", the camera meter will read an overall exposure and definitely that will not give you the result you're looking for. The camera will technically expose correctly for the lighting situation of your frame, but the difference between a photographer and someone who owns a camera reside in the capability of making creative and artistic choices, of knowing the rules and then brake them.
If you are photographing your subject against a bright sky and the sun, the camera on "AUTO" will capture it like a dark silhouette and you will also lose all the details in the foreground.
When you switch your metering mode to "MANUAL" instead, you are going to have the most control over your settings and you can adjust your shutter speed and aperture to achieve the lighting you desire.
To get an accurate exposure reading, fill the frame with your subject. Make sure you are getting a reading of the light falling on the subject rather than the entire scene. Fill the frame by either walking in towards the subject or zooming in and as you adjust your shutter speed and f-stops, you’ll have an accurate reading when the meter in your viewfinder is set to zero.
You can also achieve this by using aperture or shutter priority but manual is always going to give you more freedom to control your settings. If you feel more comfortable with these modes, use the same steps as above and hold the AEL (auto exposure lock) button so your settings don’t change as you recompose your image.
My dear friends, backlighting is one of my absolute favorite ways to light my couples! The glow created by the sun as a backlight feels like magic! If you’re just starting out and your images are coming out muddy or have soft focus, don’t give up. Once you have mastered how to meter for a backlit subject you’ll create some seriously beautiful images!