Outdoor Photography and Its Unexpected Fun
Outdoor photography is always bristling with surprises and unexpected twists. At times, nature creates real masterpieces, whether it is a stunning sunset, bizarre clouds, or soft enveloping light. But then, it might get moody and come down with rain, wind, and fog. It’s no secret that many photographers (and photographees, too) prefer shooting outdoors because of its naturalness, sincerity, and unpredictability.
Unpredictability is perhaps the best word to describe a photo shoot for the Bazinets family. Mom Maria, dad Michael, their son Andrey, and daughter Michelle traveled down to Florida to enjoy their vacation, get never-to-be-forgotten experiences, and take some pictures of a family trip. I was honored to help them with the latter.
Getting Ready for the Unforeseen
According to Maria and Michael, they have been wanting a family photoshoot for 8 years since their daughter Michelle was a toddler. A joint getaway in sunny Florida offered the best of both worlds – relaxation and long-desired photos. The family chose a location on the beach. Snow-white sand, boundless ocean, and gentle sun – could there be a better backdrop for perfect family photographs?
There was only one tiny nuance that neither I nor my models could affect in any way. Instead of the blue sky and bright sun, nature created an atmospheric setting woven from heavy clouds, wind, and drizzle. Rain, as if not daring to spill in full force, went on and off all day long. The sun shied to peek out from behind the clouds while the ocean tirelessly crashed its mighty waves on the deserted shore.
On the other hand, every cloud has a silver lining. In such rainy weather, a huge beach was completely at our disposal. My models could run, jump, and fool around to their hearts’ content. Which, in fact, they did. They lightened up a murky day and warmed it up with their emotions.
The plain truth is that it doesn’t really matter what ambiance you’re surrounded with, the most important thing is your mood. If you are under the weather, even the sunniest day will leave you cold. On the contrary, if you are ready to seize the day, your outdoor photoshoot will go without a hitch.
Challenges of Outdoor Photography
Everyone loves a clear blue sky and warm sun. You can’t deny that landscapes captured in sunny weather look amazingly vibrant and colorful. However, when it comes to portrait photography, the scorching sun is not of much help.
On a hot, clear day, when the sunlight is too bright, good frames just don’t want to come out. Right before and after noon, harsh lighting makes everything flat and non-inspiring. Florida photographers, just like myself, struggle the most since our sunrises so high in the sky.
Overly bright lighting is a challenge for photographees, too. Who would like to be shot when the sun shines right in the eyes? Squinting, sweating, with contrasting shadows on the face, no one will ever enjoy being captured in this way.
Dull weather is, in fact, a blessing in disguise. Clouds obscuring the sun create scattered lighting ideal for outdoor photography. With its help, your skin in the photos looks perfectly even. Plus, when it’s not too hot or too cold, you can feel more at ease and give yourself up to the exciting process of photographing.
Rain on Your Parade
Because of bad weather, many photographers have to take a raincheck on their outdoor shoots. Where others see a hardship, I see an opportunity. If you are not afraid to get wet, you can be rewarded with some pretty cool photos in the rain. From the romantic Singing in the Rain, the iconic Flashdance, to Rihanna’s Umbrella, the rain always adds a touch of pizzazz to the set. It transforms a familiar landscape, introduces new details, and takes the bright colors away while replacing them with dramatic shades of gray.
If it isn’t coming down in buckets, the rain is not always a challenge. Yes, it can destroy the styling you spent half a day on, smudge your makeup, and even get your feet wet but think about how much fun it brings. Jumping in puddles, setting paper boats afloat or smearing in the mud, maybe you are missing these children’s joys in your life. Don’t be afraid to let your inner child out. Photos taken in the rain might be exactly what you’ve been longing for.
Wind of Change
People who boast long hair surely know that the wind can be both a friend and foe. When the wind blows through your locks as if you are in shampoo advertisement, your sex appeal boosts dramatically. Many studio photographers use wind turbines to achieve this wow effect. While in the great outdoors, the wind will work for you at no charge. What’s the catch then? The challenge is that the wind is completely unpredictable. Now it helps you and the next second it changes its mind and throws your hair right in your face. Is there any remedy against the wind in outdoor photography? The thing I truly believe in is that you shouldn’t fight with the wind. Just relax and let it do its job. Let it play with your hair and clothes. In return, you will get perky and lively photos.
One of the most famous photographs in history was taken when the wind was involved. Perhaps no one would remember the white halter dress of Marilyn Monroe hadn’t the stream of air from a passing train blown it up to her hips. The wind’s playful mood plus a spot-on wardrobe and voila, we have the most iconic image of the Hollywood’s legend.
Outdoor photography has its challenges but with the right dose of enthusiasm and resourcefulness, you can turn them into advantages. I am always up for creative shots, so maybe we can take them together?
Are you ready to update your family portraits?
View my family gallery on my website: www.tamaraknight.com.
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