Now that it’s starting to warm up a bit, photographers are moving outside to play with light and enjoy the magnificent backdrops the great outdoors has to offer.
Below is our ambassadors’ list of must-haves when shooting outdoors and a handful of their best tips. Enjoy!
What you’ll need:
- 70-200mm lens
- bug spray
- wet wipes
- a blanket for clients to sit on
- water to drink
- an expodisc
- an umbrella
- a flashlight
#1 – Scout locations to find the right spot.
Melissa of Melissa Klein Photography says,
Living in Minnesota, I only photograph families outside for about half the year, but being in the land of 10,000 photographers, I try to find quiet spots that are not as popular for photographing sessions. This helps my clients to be more relaxed, and is less distracting for the kids. I try to find a spot with some open shade or backlighting. This prevents photographing them in direct sunlight or getting dappled lighting (shadows and hot spots). Finding a spot with enough room for the family to interact without a distracting background is also a plus.
#2 – Zoom out and capture the bigger picture.
Amy of My Letter Sized Life says,
I’m usually a “fill the frame” kind of photographer but whenever shooting in the great outdoors I like to use my telephoto lens for a few shots and capture my subjects in the grand scheme of things. I sit back and let them interact with their surroundings and grab a few shots that remind us all how wide the world really is!
#3 – Pay attention to the light.
Monica of Internationelle says,
I love photographing outdoors during warm and well-lit days. The lighting is just better than anything one could manufacture artificially. This shoot of the Latvian dance group Trejdeksnitis just outside of Seattle during one of their biggest holidays of the year, Midsummer, was such a blast, both with facial expressions and great lighting.
Shooting action outdoors is not always the easiest, so timing is key, as is lowering the ISO to make sure highlights and shadows are balanced and faces don’t look washed out. When shooting dancing, I try to go with the beat. When you know there’s going to be a jump or a spin, capture it right at the beginning of it for some fun frozen facial expressions!
#4 – Don’t be afraid to try something out of your wheelhouse.
Maryam of Hi + Hello Photo says,
For this image, I tried my hand at “freelensing” which was a completely new technique for me. I absolutely loved the effect and how it created a dreamy quality to the image. I was terrified that I would drop my lens on the rocks below me or get dust in my camera but neither happened and I ended up with an image I absolutely love.
#5 – If you can’t work around the weather, work with it.
Kim of Apple of Our Eye Photography says,
One thing I’ve learned about photographing families in the great outdoors is that the weather doesn’t always cooperate. Some will panic and reach out to reschedule the morning or day before their session. Others will trust your judgement and go with it. I’ve found that some of my favorite and most memorable sessions are the ones where we’ve had to grab an umbrella, throw on some rain boots, bundle up, or let the wind work to our advantage. As long as the conditions aren’t dangerous, the results will often have your clients super happy with the decision to just go with it!
#6 – Don’t forget the bug spray!
Kimi of Oh Hello Photo! says,
The best advice I was ever given was when I first started out in the photography world. A photographer told me “Always have bug spray when you are shooting outside”. She was spot on! In Minnesota during the summer/fall months (especially at golden hour) the bugs might as well be hungry baby dinosaurs. While this isn’t exactly a tip on HOW to take photos outdoors, it will definitely save you time photoshopping out bug bites or having to completely change locations to avoid those little devils!