To any upcoming photographer outdoor shoots can seem a little daunting, as you have limited control over the lighting, other people in the area and most especially, the wind. Not to fear! The key to outdoor shoots is flexibility. Being able to work with what you have instead of rigidly trying to work an unfeasible plan.
For example, with the shot above I knew the lighting was not ideal and with her hair colour against the brick there would be issues balancing out my highlighted areas. Instead of sticking to a balanced shot, where there would be no “blow out” or excessive lighted areas, we played with the over exposed style, allowing the scenario to take us in that direction. Both the client and I were happy with our decision to do so, as we got a series of more interesting shots.
In this shot the winds were starting to pick up, so we simply adjusted her position to face diagonally to the wind to allow for a more dynamic looking shot. Again we continued with our over-exposed style and it turned out great. Had we stuck to the original plan of having a more subdued look, with perfectly coifed hair and no movement in the photo we would have struggled to find that shot until we lost the afternoon light we were working with.
In short, be flexible and anticipate weather getting in the way of a planned shot. To help you do this, I would recommend keeping a few things in your kit or vehicle during an outdoor shot.
- Battery Powered Flood Light
- Baby Wipes
- Basic Cosmetics
- A Blanket (To protect and keep your model comfortable)
- Alternate Lenses
It’s incredible the difference a blanket and fresh socks can make during an outdoor shoot. No one wants cold feet and keeping the model more comfortable will absolutely make for better results and less editing. I would also strongly recommend becoming more comfortable playing with new styles, themes and locations to gain more experience with split second style decisions. The more experience you have with a variety of different scenarios, the quicker you’ll be able to adapt in the future.
Hope you enjoyed and maybe picked up a new trick or two. If you have any advice to share to new photographer, or us older ones as well, please share in the comments.