Here’s a trick for more advanced photographers to shoot against a bright background without blowing out the exposure. In this video, portrait photographer Joel Grimes shows how he uses a thin net to darken a backdrop while setting the exposure for the face of his subject.
The net is just a thin, semi-transparent fabric that photographers and cinematographers use to modify light. The problem with shooting in a bright environment is that if you set your exposure to the light on your subject’s face, the background will likely be far too bright and overexposed. That’s fine for some photos, but Grimes wanted to have his cake and eat it too (without using a strobe light, a more conventional method that would require more gear). That’s where the scrim comes in. He just places the thin fabric behind his subject to cut down on the light of the background, and chooses a short depth of field so that you can’t actually see the net in the photo.