Summertime is my favorite time of year! I’m originally a Florida girl, born and raised, so the heat is my happy place. Now that I’m in the Midwest, I’m getting adjusted to experiencing seasons, but my love of outdoor adventures has evolved. My friends and I travel to the Ozarks area for float trips twice over the summer, and I like to plan one more bonus trip. I truly enjoy outdoor sessions so I can share the sweet outdoors with my clients. When you’re outdoors shooting during the hotter months of the year, make sure you’re prepared for what the elements throw at you!
When you are outdoors in the summer, wear clothes that allow your body to stay cool. Avoid jeans and dark pants if you can, by opting for breathable leggings or baggy cotton pants, or even shorts! If you burn easily, invest in clothing that doesn’t cling, allows you to sweat but not feel suffocated, and protects your precious skin. Hats and sunglasses can be very useful for your protection, as well.
One of the most important choices you should make before shooting sessions outdoors is investing in comfortable shoes. Keep in mind that you may step in water, get muddy, or traverse the elements, so you will want a shoe as mobile as you. If I’m walking long distances, I grab my black Nikes. They are always comfortable, lightweight, and allow me to stay balanced and agile while walking on rocks, up hills, and such. On short but brushy sessions, I choose my Timberlands because they are weatherproof, trek through anything, and keep my ankles protected from ticks and other hitchhikers. Unfortunately they are quite heavy and will give me blisters if I don’t wear thick socks, so learn from my mistake! Find a show that works best for you and stick with it.
BEAT THE ELEMENTS
You never know how the weather will turn out! Keep an eye on the weather for sessions in advance and track the patterns. If it is likely to storm and you have an option to reschedule, you may need to. If the rain is iffy, bring an umbrella or two and have an alternate covered location in mind just in case. Be mindful of how your gear is packed and exposed to the elements to make sure they are safe, and invest in equipment insurance if you do not have it already to help protect you and your assets in case something does happen.
It will be beneficial to both you and your clients to pack a bag with outdoor essentials like towels, sunscreen, and bug spray. Keep a first aid kit handy with items like bandages, hydrocortisone cream, and antiseptic wipes in case of emergency. It’s always better to be prepared!
The heat will take more out of you, so remember to fill up! Eat a meal before your outdoor sessions, and encourage your clients to do the same. Bring water, and extra bottles for yourself and your clients in case anyone gets thirsty. I always bring snack items on outdoor adventures in case anyone gets hungry or starts getting low blood sugar. There is nothing worse than being dehydrated or starving in the hot heat, especially when it can be prevented!
Most importantly, have fun! Enjoy the sunshine with your clients and capture the essence of summer in your images. This is the perfect time of year to scout new locations and find new spots in your current list. Try searching for local parks and trails to see what you can find. Utilize water sources and different landmarks. If you find a gorgeous new area with lots of trees, save the location to check back during the fall. I bet the leaves will be breathtaking. This is the perfect time to find spots that will hold snow and ice, while being easily accessible, for winter sessions. Let the summer help you relax and grow!