Let's title this tip: The problem with backlighting.
Alternative title: How to force your camera to auto-focus into direct sunlight.
So here's the problem with backlighting: I can't really see what I'm shooting. My eyes are worthless when looking into a bright light source, so I'm pretty inept when attempting to focus manually in such a situation. Apparently, my camera has the same problem, and cannot focus, and thus cannot capture my desired photo. Wanna see how I learned to "force" my camera to focus?
And the best thing about this tip? It requires no fancy, expensive equipment. Ready?
Oh yeah, I'm totally high-tech. I blocked the sun with my hand. I totally did a little happy dance when this little "trick" actually worked.
I block the sun so the camera can focus. Then I remove my hand and snap the pre-focused picture. Voila!
Orange County Child Portrait Photographer