Sunshine and clear skies make for beautiful family portraits, but in Perth’s summer, they can also quickly make the day too hot for comfort. I mean, looking your best covered in sweat and feeling sticky isn’t exactly an easy feat!
Recently, I had an outdoor photoshoot that was almost rescheduled because of the heat. In the end we managed to work around it, but it got me thinking about doing sessions in the midst of a true Australian summer.
After decades of taking outdoor family portraits, I have some tried-and-true staples that make the heat a little more tolerable. Of course, these tips won’t change the weather –that would’ve come in handy many times!- but they can help everyone feel more comfortable.
Here are my top recommendations for taking the heat out of a summer family photoshoot. These are simple but oh-so-useful!
Scheduling your family portrait photoshoot very early in the morning ensures you get all the light of an outdoor photoshoot while escaping the stifling heat. There’s no need to make everyone stand in the sun at noon!
Having an early-morning session also means the family is
probably feeling fresh and ready to take on the day. This makes it easier to enjoy yourselves and have a good time!
Are your mornings too busy? No worries, late afternoon also works well. Besides, you might even catch a beautiful sunset in the process. Album-worthy pictures in no time!
Stay hydrated (and bring a towel)
Nothing worse than feeling dehydrated in the middle of an outdoor family photoshoot! I’ve seen it happen and it can get ugly. Avoid overheating and bring enough water for everyone. Even better if you pack a cooler and you have cold water on hand.
It’s also a good idea to bring a towel. Because this is Perth, you’re bound to sweat, let’s face it. Patting excess moisture away is a quick way to look –and feel- refreshed and ready to look your best.
Choose the right clothes
Of course, you’ll probably give a lot of thought to the outfits your family will wear on your portrait. Nevertheless, when it comes to an outdoor photoshoot, it’s key to take the weather into account.
To fight the heat in a summer photoshoot go for natural, lightweight fabrics. Dresses, flowy shirts and shorts photograph beautifully while being refreshing and comfortable for moving around. No heavy denim!
It sounds easy, but it works. Bring a small cooler with water and some ice packs. Drink the water and use the ice packs to refresh yourself between takes. Yes, you’ll be placing the ice in strategic places: your wrists and neck are ideal. The ice will cool your blood and help you fight the heat quickly.
Fans and parasols are your friends
These not only work as eye-catching props, they also offer much-needed shade and breeze. Whether you need to cover up a baby, or just get away from the sun, a parasol or a big umbrella is a great option.
And, even though they look like nothing, those small handheld fans that grannies love have been a lifesaver more than once. Try them and you’ll never go back.
These simple tips are very easy to implement. Give them a try in your next summer family portrait!
My top expert tips to fight the heat in a summer photoshoot
- Schedule an early morning or late afternoon photoshoot
- Stay hydrated and bring a towel
- Choose your clothes carefully
- Ice, ice baby
- Bring fans and parasols
Do you have any tips of your own to beat the summer heat when taking outdoor family portraits? Let us know in the comments below!