Back-lighting is my favorite technique for outdoor sunset images, however it can be a bit tricky and without some practice, you may get washed out or very dark images. These tips below are for natural light photography. You can also create dynamic images using flash photography with back-lighting.
Tip 1: Expose for your subject.
If you have your camera on evaluated metering and are a "0" on the exposure compensation, your subject will likely be very dark as the camera is overwhelmed with the light coming in from behind. There are a couple ways to override this. When I shoot in AV mode, I up the exposure compensation and when I am shooting in manual, I simply manually adjust my settings to get the desired exposure.
If you are a flash photographer, you can set the camera's exposure for the background and add in fill flash to light your subject to the proper exposure.
Tip 2: Filter the back-light through a natural filter such as trees.
The back-light may be quite harsh if it is coming directly behind your subject making it look unnatural. One way around this is to filter the light through a natural substance in the area such as trees or grass or by placing a "hill" or natural wall between your subject and the sun.
I hope quick two tips helps your photography. If you are interested in booking a session with me, head on over to my contact page and get in touch!