photo by milorad kravic via iStock
Summer photography means longer days of shooting, better weather, and generally more clients, but it also means long, sweaty days.
If you’re lucky enough to live in a part of the world that doesn’t get very warm, then you may not need these summer photography tips, but if you, like me, live in a place that regularly reaches almost boiling temperatures, then you need to learn how to beat the heat.
We’ll go over some summer photography gear, hot weather photography tips, and what your summer photography bag should definitely include.
But, remember that the best summer photography tips can’t prevent you from a dangerous situation. Pay attention to what your body is trying to tell you and don’t be afraid to push a shoot off if it doesn’t feel right.
Plan Ahead of Time
photo by Alexander Shelegov via iStock
One of the most important summer photography tips is to have a shot list. If you have an exact plan of the shot you’re looking for, or the shot your client is looking for, then it will take you half of the shooting time.
One of my favorite photography blogs suggested that digital photographers should act as if they are shooting with film. If you only have a certain amount of shots to get the perfect photo, then you are going to go into your photoshoot with exact directions for your models and you are going to put a lot more forethought into things like lighting during different times of the day and locations.
photo by SanneBerg via iStock
Instead of taking ten shots of the same pose, or the same view, take one or two shots before moving on, especially during the hottest parts of the day when heat stroke is a serious concern.
But, as with most summer photography tips, this is going to take some coordination. Ensure your models know exactly what you are looking for before you start shooting (and hopefully before the day of the shoot) so that everyone can stay on the same page.
In the same way, ensure you understand exactly what your client is looking for. You’re going to be so angry with yourself if you have to go back out and shoot in incredibly hot weather again because you had a communication error.
Bring the Necessities
photo by bymuratdeniz via iStock
A lot of summer photography tips don’t get enough press and learning how to properly pack a photography bag during the summer months is one of them.
You’re obviously going to need sunscreen, but photographers frequently don’t understand just how much they will need. You need to bring enough sunscreen to be able to reapply it every 80 minutes. If you are participating in an all-day photoshoot, then you may be applying sunscreen ten times.
The same thing goes for your water. Depending upon your climate and body type, as well as how long your photoshoot is going to last, you may need as much as a few gallons of water throughout the day.
photo byAscentXmedia via iStock
Water is obviously really heavy, so a lot of photographers will try and carry less than they actually need. But, I promise you that the first time you get home from a photoshoot after not drinking enough water all day, you’ll have truly wished you did.
Another summer photography essential I always include in my bag is something with a lot of electrolytes. I like to use coconut water because it’s incredibly helpful when I inevitably forget to drink enough water.
Depending upon the amount of sun your part of the world gets, you may also want to include some high SPF clothing. You can snag these at any local sporting goods store for relatively cheap and many of them have a lifetime warranty.
Invest in the Right Gear
No matter how many summer photography tips you follow, your summer photoshoot will still be miserable without the correct gear.
Like I mentioned above, you’ll want appropriate clothing, but you’ll also want an appropriate way to carry your camera.
I love Holdfast’s Camera Swagg for my summer shooting because it features everything I love about their original MoneyMaker camera strap without the heavy, hot leather.
Camera Swagg is vegan-friendly, because it’s made of cotton canvas and metal D-rings. It also makes a great addition to this summer photography tips list because it prevents your camera from sitting directly on your body and getting sticky.
It won’t last quite as long as the original MoneyMaker, but for $180 I think it’s an incredible investment to make if you have a long, hot summer ahead of you because of just how breathable it is.
Like I said, my summer photography tips are only going to take you so far by themselves.
Find Yourself Some Shade
photo by themacx via iStock
While you may follow all of these summer photography tips, sometimes it’s an absolute necessity to shoot near shade for the safety of yourself, your models, and your equipment.
Make sure you understand what temperature your camera is rated to and if you’re pushing it, take frequent breaks in the shade to cool it off.
Also, be hyper aware of anybody you’re working with. The last thing you want is to have a medical emergency on your hands because you were too focused on your summer photography tips or your client to be aware of your surroundings.