Our preferred way to shoot portraits when we are out in the open is to use backlighting. In case you are unfamiliar with backlighting, instead of having the model face the sun, they actually put their back to it. This casts a shadow over the model which helps the photographer properly expose the model but the scene behind can often be too blown out.
Setting the angle
If you’ve tried this method before you’ve probably noticed that during different times of the day, you’ll get much different results with backlighting. What we’ve found is that you get your best results during golden hour and when you angle the sun towards your Southeast or Southwest side of your body. See the diagram below. The reason why this works is that you aren’t shooting straight into the sun. If you shoot straight into the sun this can create a rim light all around the model, almost engulfing them in the light. I think these pictures lack depth and I’m not a fan of the super dark shadows that are created from shooting with the sun straight behind the model.