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Summer Family Photos: How to Prepare Your Photography Studio

Summer is a lively season meant for fun under the sun! While there may not be many holidays to celebrate during this balmy season, families still love to snap photos as mementos and to let their friends, family, and social media followers know how they're spending their summer break.

To help you prepare for the summer rush, here are our tips on how to prepare your photography studio for summer family photos. With these tips, you'll be able to provide unforgettable experiences to your clients during this year's sunny season.

Prepare for the Heat

The summer is notorious for the harsh sun and scorching temps that accompany it. Photo sessions can take hours, which means your clients will need to sit in your studio for some time. If the weather is hot and humid, this can get uncomfortable. If you want to make your studio more bearable in the summer, you have a few options.

You can invest in a good heating and cooling system or a small freestanding fan. A cheaper option is to crack open a few windows. You can also offer complimentary cold bottles of water. Additionally, you may want to consider having a few short breaks in between photos. Posing for an extended period can be difficult, especially in extreme heat or humidity. Breaks give your clients a few minutes to wipe the beads of sweat from their forehead and cool down with a quick fanning or a drink.

Use the advice above to keep your clients cool and comfortable and make their summer photo session pleasant.

Protect Your Equipment

Extreme heat can cause your equipment to overheat and malfunction, which is the last thing you want to happen in the middle of a shoot. Fortunately, there are a few ways you can protect your precious equipment from the merciless summer.

The first way is to attach a mini umbrella to your camera, like you would a fancy beachy drink. If you’re shooting in your studio’s yard, this will deflect the sun and keep your camera cool. You can also place a cold gel pack atop your camera and wrap it in a bath towel for the same effect. However, avoid cooling packs that are wet. Equipment upgrades, like external batteries or faster memory cards, will also provide protection from the hot weather.

Adjust Your Lighting

During winter and spring, the weather is usually overcast and dominated by snow or rain. The summer, on the other hand, is sunny and bright—and sunlight is notoriously bad for photos. It creates dark shadows and sharp glares, which can be unflattering. To take flattering photos in the summer sun, you'll need to get creative.

One option is to tinker with your camera’s settings. Most photographers use the "Sunny 16" rule for shooting in summer. The Sunny 16 rule is simple. Set your camera's aperture to f/16, the ISO to a low setting, and then set the shutter speed to a setting that corresponds with your chosen ISO.

Filters are also useful. We recommend either circular polarizing or neutral density filters. Circular polarizing filters reduce glare and improve saturation. Neutral density filters absorb light and darken scenes.

Another option is to shoot in the shade. When you’re outside, you can find natural shade beneath trees or under the eaves of your studio. You can also create your own shade using an overhead scrim. If you’re shooting inside, use curtains to block out light from the windows.

Incorporate Bright Colors Into Your Photos

Spring photos tend to use muted, pastel colors. Summer is a more vibrant season than spring, so you'll want to incorporate bold, bright colors into your shots. Candy red and navy will liven up a 4th of July shoot, while sunny yellows and ocean blues are musts for beach-themed photos. Lush greens capture the rich foliage of summer.

The easiest way to get photos featuring vivid summery shades is to improve the color saturation. You can improve saturation in a few different ways. One way is to use a polarizer filter to remove glare and enhance color. Another is to underexpose your photos for richer color. If your camera has the option, you can also adjust in-camera saturation levels. Changing the white balance is yet another convenient way to saturate your photos for that dazzling, dynamic summer look.

Invest in Summer Backdrops and Props

Since holding photo sessions outside can be tricky in summer, it's a smart idea to invest in professional backdrops so you can shoot creative summer scenes inside. With backdrops, you can capture shots of a beach party, a camping trip, a 4th of July celebration, and more without ever stepping foot outside your studio! Offering multiple backdrops will attract more clients and more positive press for your business. Also, your clients will be very happy to get their dream photos without having to travel far or swelter in the outside heat.

You'll also want to stock up on seasonal props. There are so many fun summer props that you can incorporate into your photos. Here's a list of props we recommend for summer photoshoots:

  • Balloons
  • Beach balls
  • Beach towel
  • Bubble wands
  • Fake fruit and veggies
  • Flip flops
  • Goggles
  • Ice pops
  • Mason jars
  • Mermaid tails
  • Picnic blankets
  • Pool floats
  • Red wagon
  • Sand bucket with shovel
  • Sparklers
  • Sports equipment
  • Stuffed animals
  • Sun hats
  • Sunglasses
  • Surfboards
  • Vibrant flowers
  • Wicker baskets

Of course, you don't need to have every last prop on this list—nor are you limited to these props only! Try to buy as many props as you can to create a sizeable collection for your clients to choose from.

Those are our tips on how to prepare your photography studio for summer family photos. Using these tips, you can keep your clients comfortable in the summer weather and take stunning photos with the perfect light levels, saturations, and themes.

If you're looking for beautiful and high-quality summer backdrops for the upcoming season, HSD Backdrops has what you need. Our backdrops are made to order and available in vinyl poly paper, canvas, and fabric material.

We have hundreds of fun summer-themed products to choose from, including beach, camping, circus, floral, mermaid, nautical, and 4th of July backdrops. Shop with us today for professional studio backdrops that will take your photography to the next level.

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