Gearing Up for Summer Photography With Clients

Gearing Up for Summer Photography with Clients | 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!


Gearing Up for Summer Photography

Gearing Up for Summer Photography | http://photorec.tvSummer is an amazing time for outdoor photography. With long days, warm weather, and tons of special events, there are endless possibilities for creative shooting. From early mornings capturing the sunrise to busy days photographing weddings to evenings documenting the local fair, summer is a magical season. Equipped with a few critical tips, you'll be able to step up your summer photography game and make the most of your shooting throughout the entire season.

Assess the condition of your gear

The start of a new season is a perfect opportunity to evaluate the condition of your photography gear, including lenses, bags, straps, and other accessories. Repair or replace any items that are broken or damaged. If you've been itching to upgrade your camera body, invest in a new lens, or try a new accessory, think about taking the plunge now.Circular Polarizer Comparison |

Invest in circular polarizers

I always have circular polarizers in my bag, but I pull them out in the summer more than any other season. A circular polarizer (CPL) is like sunglasses for your camera lens. When you're shooting in bright outdoor conditions, a CPL filter helps reduce blown out areas and saturate colors, creating richer, more balanced images.

If applicable, pick up a few summer props

For family photographers, a carefully selected bag of props goes a long way toward adding character to sessions. You may even want to bring a few items to your engagement couple sessions. Vintage step stools in a field are a popular option. Blankets, balloons, and sweet summer treats (i.e. lollipops, ice cream) are perfect as well. When you're shooting in an iconic summer location, such as a county fair or beach, make sure to frame your subjects to highlight the summer imagery.

Streamline your gear management system

Juggling gear wastes time and energy, particularly when it's hot outside. Be honest about the gear you'll need for a given event or outing, and leave everything else at home. You may need to develop multiple gear management setups to cater to varying shooting needs. For example, a large backpack may be ideal for day hikes while a small shoulder bag is preferable for a quick newborn or engagement session. If you wear a camera or cameras, invest in a comfortable strap or strap system, so the weight is well distributed and you can access your gear quickly and easily.

Equip yourself and your clients for long hours in the sun

Unless your summer photography is limited to early morning sunrises and golden hour portrait sessions, most likely you'll be out shooting during some of the hottest and brightest hours of the day. Even when you're striving to shoot in soft, flattering light, inevitably you'll end up taking pictures in the sun during family vacations, gatherings with family and friends (i.e. birthday parties, bridal showers), and other mid-day events. Bring sunglasses, sunscreen, and a hat to protect yourself. Encourage clients to bring the gear they need to protect themselves from the sun as well.When you're working with clients for summer portrait sessions and events, keep hair product on hand to minimize frizz. During a consultation prior to a session, recommend clothing that will be flattering in hot weather, including lightweight, breathable fabrics, as well as hairstyles. For example, a braid or updo may be preferable to big, loose curls.On the hottest days of the year, reassure clients that they will be spending a minimum amount of time in direct sunlight with broiling temperatures. When a family steps out of their car and is immediately shielding their eyes from the sun or a bride is breaking into a sweat before the ceremony is over, the last thing they want to hear is that they'll be standing right in the sun for their pictures. Spend as much time in the shade as possible, take breaks in an air-conditioned building or vehicle as needed, and take care not to push anyone past their comfort limit.

Dress appropriately and comfortably for the current weather conditions

Once you've prepared for your clients for their photography sessions and big events, follow your own advice to look your best, even when it's sticky and humid. Select clothing and footwear that will hold up well in the hot weather and keep you comfortable through long hours on your feet. When you're shooting on your own, you don't have to be concerned about looking professional. For example, lady photographers may prefer to wear dressy sandals with clients but would rather put on sneakers when heading out for hikes with friends.

Be prepared for a sudden change in weather

Summer storms often come on very quickly with little or no warning. When you're outdoors in the evening for a golden hour family session or some personal shooting at a favorite beach or park, the temperature may drop quickly as the sun sets. At a minimum, travel with a waterproof camera bag and camera rain cover as well as a long-sleeved shirt or jacket, so you won't find yourself freezing or with wet camera gear. Depending on the forecast for a given day, you may want to bring additional supplies, such rain boots, an umbrella, or a wind breaker.

Have water and snacks on hand

Summery photography can get miserable when you're thirsty and hungry. Don't ever leave the house on a warm summer day without a water bottle or two and a few snacks. Pack food items that you will keep you full and energized and that will hold up in the heat, such as granola bars, dried fruit and nuts, rice cakes with almond butter, and beef jerky.Summer Photography Collage |

Keep a running list of summer photography ideas

Whether you're looking for new places to visit around town with family or friends or you want to keep your client sessions fresh and interesting, having an ongoing list of summer photography ideas will keep your creative juices flowing. Create a list on your phone or stash a small notebook in your camera bag, so you can jot down ideas while you're on the go. Make note of upcoming events to attend as well, such as fairs, festivals, and concerts.

Challenge yourself

Long days and warm weather create an ideal environment for setting some new photography goals and challenges. Take advantage of an evening wedding reception to practice your back lit portrait technique or push yourself to edit an entire set of images in black and white. The PRTV Instagram challenges are also a great way to get out and shoot different subjects every week of the summer.

Do you have any additional tips for summer photography?

Leave your thoughts in the comments!