As the summer approaches, the thought of outdoor photography probably doesn’t excite you. Coming from the desert, I totally understand. If family portraits weren’t taken in the spring (like Easter weekend), waiting until the fall is rarely a bad idea. Sometimes, I’ll capture a late senior photo session – but for the most part, the humid season is pretty dry for business. So I thought I’d share a few summer portrait tips to see if it helped you escape your shell.
Even though the spring weather and landscape makes it easier to smile, there are plenty of things to appreciate and capture during the summer months in Mississippi – especially if you have children! Since I tend to bombard my family with new photography ideas when it’s hot, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to try to change one’s perspective. In my opinion, sweating the heat can lead to a lot of missed opportunities.
1. Stay Colorful During the Summer.
When you think of spring photography, you tend to think of brilliant colors and luscious life. The cool breeze, chirping birds and the rush of water only adds to the beauty of blossoming flowers. Love is in the air when the cold finally goes into hiding. The euphoria is fueled by back-to-back holidays and the end of the school year. This results in more social activities and public events to enjoy.
By the time the summer arrives, the jubilee normally wears off. Even though nature’s colors still exist, most Americans have become content with TV screens and indoor things. But staying cooped up can lead to boredom and a lack of motivation to do much of anything. Finding something to do, despite the heat, can keep you from developing bad habits while giving you something to remember! So my first tip is to take initiative.
Things to Think About Regarding Summer Portraits.
You may hate the sticky heat, but you’ll love capturing new moments outside of your comfort zone. From my experience, it’s usually worth every sweaty second! Drink extra water or taking a cold shower isn’t burdensome :). In fact, it’s a lot more fulfilling than a lazy day! Adding some color to the seasonal gloom can be invigorating.
According to the National Park Service, there are plenty of places and things to explore in Mississippi. So put something on the calendar, follow through and don’t forget your camera! Even if you don’t have a professional photographer along, today’s cell phones make it pretty easy to capture amazing footage you’ll remember for always.
2. “Cooler” Ideas for Summer Portraits.
When I mention the term “cool” – I’m not referring to the other side of the pillow or a high school popularity contest. I’m talking about added effects to photography. Sweat stains, dead grass or red faces can usually be edited well by someone that knows what they’re doing. So if you’re discouraged by the idea of taking summer portraits because of the possible outcome, don’t be!
There are also a number of tactics I use to visibly cool off the image itself. Backgrounds with certain colors or “cool” settings can help you forget all about the heat of the day. You can’t even tell the picture below was taken in 112 degree weather. The deep colors of the stone “cool off” the picture while her vibrant shirt takes away from her flushed face. Working with a pro that understands these things can eliminate your fear of taking bad pictures.
In the summer, the sunshine is usually a lot brighter. But there are ways to eliminate high illumination and avoid squinting. Finding areas without direct sunlight, properly utilizing shade (cloud cover) or waiting until dawn or dusk will really enhance the quality of your summer portraits. While some people like a warm look, reducing the temperature of a photo can make the final product look like it was taken on a spring afternoon. Pretty cool, right?
3. Authentic Summer Portraits Tips.
If you’re going to listen to any of my summer portrait tips, this is the one. Action pictures and candid moments create some of the best photography. The smiles and emotions are always genuine and real. I’ve said this before, but nothing improves a photo more than authenticity. So if you’re going to get everyone together when it’s hot, consider the elements and a theme that makes sense. Misery or disinterest can really make it a long shoot.
When the environment and it’s temperature aren’t very comfortable, nobody wants to hold the same pose and force a smile for long periods of time. While you may want to get formal family photos in the barn or woods, it’s rather risky in the middle of the summer. So try to focus on a photoshoot with a theme that’s relevant to the season. Genuine interactions, close ups and active people are a lot easier to capture in natural settings.
What Are Some Out of the Box Ideas?
Hiring a Mississippi photographer to attend a pool party, summer BBQ, girl’s night out or even a game night usually turns out great. Finding the local watering hole or visiting a Memphis resort are also solid options. If you’re worried about sweat stains, frizzy hair or dirty attire then a physical activity isn’t a bad idea either. Taking pictures while boating, hitting the trails or even paint-balling can be a lot of fun! If you’re on a budget, then turn your backyard into a splash zone and invite the neighbors. There’s no way you don’t have a good time.
The best part about these types of sessions is that there’s rarely not a moment worth capturing. Staying social during a time where most people turn dormant really makes the summer go by fast!
Chill Out and Enjoy Your Summer!
Take advantage of the summer months instead of wasting them away indoors. It may seem like there’s nothing to do but you can change that! You don’t have to travel to escape the heat. You don’t have to only schedule pictures in the spring or wait until the fall. With these summer portrait tips, you have plenty of reason to do something outside of your comfort zone with people you love. The memories are always worth it, so don’t sweat the heat!
If you live in Desoto County or Memphis area, it would be an honor to help you freeze your moments-in-time. 🙂