We've all heard people say 'don't shoot into the sun' - and there's a really GOOD reason for this. It makes the background totally over-exposed and really hard to get a decent exposure and light onto the subject.
It's SO bright behind that the camera's exposure is set for the background - so you have to compensate for this by adding MORE light to the front.
Most compact cameras or cameras in automatic mode will try and take an average exposure based on the whole frame, but when it's SO bright in the background it will almost certainly confuse things. So you can do a couple of things..
Now sometimes you can't just move the subject - perhaps the opportunity will be lost, so in this case you need to ADD light to balance the background with the foreground.
The simplest way is to just add some flash. Assuming you're close enough most cameras with built in flash will be bright enough to add what is known as FILL light.
Your flash may not pop up automatically, because it's too bright. Find the little lightning bolt symbol and press whatever buttons to make the flash pop up manually. Then take the shot.
The flash will fire and add some front light to balance the shot. Even with a phone camera, you can put the little LED 'flash' on. If you're close enough it will work.
This is what Kate's dad should have done.