Summer is an ideal time for outdoor photography sessions with clients. With long daylight hours and numerous options for beautiful settings, the possibilities to create stunning photography are endless. However, without careful planning, you may find yourself or your clients crabby and overheated in stifling shooting conditions. Take the extra time to brush up on gearing up for summer photography with clients and prepare appropriately for your client sessions to beat the heat and make beautiful images.
Choose locations and session times to minimize exposure to sun and heat
Landscape often impacts temperature significantly, particularly during the warmer months of the year. When you’re preparing for outdoor photography sessions, consider locations to create cool backdrops, such as low lying and wooded areas. When clients request hotter locations, such as the top of a hill or on a rooftop patio, plan your timing carefully to keep everyone comfortable. Book summer sessions earlier in the day or later in the evening to avoid the hottest hours of the day and take advantage of optimal lighting. When the timing it out of your control, such as during a wedding, limit the wedding party’s exposure to direct sunlight, so no one overheats.
Expand your session location offerings
There are so many fun activities and events in the summer that lend themselves naturally to creative photography shoots. Offer to meet a family or engaged couple at the local fair, outdoor concert venue, art festival, or circus for a quick session. You’ll have one of a kind backdrops and props right at your fingertips. Use the new location to highlight a couple or family’s favorite summer activity, creating memories and photos they’ll cherish for years to come.
Keep water bottles and cool treats on hand
Staying hydrated is critical for optimal health and well-being during the summer. On warm days, always have a few water bottles on hand and give clients frequent water breaks during longer shoots. When you’ll be on location for a while or you’re working with young children, consider bringing some cool treats, such as Popsicles, as well. The clients will appreciate the refreshing snack, and you may get a few cute photos out of the treat break.
Bring battery-powered fans and other supplies for quick comfort
Battery-powered fans and water misters are inexpensive and go a long way toward providing relief during steamy summer photography sessions. Cold, wet towels are another great option. Store them in a small cooler or large Ziploc bag to avoid getting your car wet. If you’re bringing a cooler, store your water bottles in it for increased comfort. In addition to drinking the water, give clients periodic opportunities to wet down their wrists with water to stay cool.
Provide essential summer items
While you’re stocking your car and photography bag for summer sessions with clients, grab a few extra summer essentials. At a minimum, bring sunscreen and bug spray, especially when you’re photographing clients on the beach or in the woods. Select varieties that are not greasy and do not have strong scents. Think about storing a basic first aid kit in the car and keeping a few perfumes and deodorants in your bag as well.
Don’t forget about your own comfort
It’s easy to get so caught up in planning for your clients that you’re not thinking about yourself and how you’ll stay comfortable during summer sessions. Build a small collection of outfits for client sessions that look professional and keep you cool. If you have long hair, stash a few hairbands in your bag. Keeping some spare clothes in your car for quick changes in between sessions or on exceptionally hot days isn’t a bad idea either.
Put together a style guide for your clients
Planning what to wear to a photo shoot is stressful for many couples and families. Your clients want to look their best while staying cool and feeling like themselves. Creating a style guide with outfit planning tips, such as sticking to coordinating neutrals, and other recommendations to help a photo shoot go smoothly, such as getting your hair and makeup done professionally, takes a lot of the guesswork out for clients. Don’t forget about the little details as well, such as urging women and girls who want to wear flip-flops or open-toed shoes to get a pedicure that week. They’ll feel more confident about their appearances when they arrive, ensuring they’re relaxed and ready for a great session.Encourage clients to bring their own warm weather supplies and photo shoot essentials as well. While it’s always great to be prepared and have extras on hand for clients, many people feel most comfortable using a familiar hairspray or sunscreen.
Reassure your clients that you’ll keep them cool
When you meet or speak with clients prior to a session, give them every assurance that you are experienced shooting in the heat and will take steps to keep them comfortable during their session. Reviewing the precautions that you’ll take, such as bringing cold water bottles and taking frequent breaks in the shade, will put them at ease.
Do you have any tips for gearing up for summer photography with clients?
We’d love to hear your input!