My 5 Essentials For An Outdoor Location Shoot
Spring is officially underway and with it, a flurry of photoshoots among the beautiful flowering nature. It’s that time of year when shooting outside is comfortable, and the evening light has the last of winter’s lingering softness. A vast majority of my shoots take place on location, and over the years I’ve learned to bring along a few things that make shooting outdoors that little bit less stressful.
I have a pair of strong scissors I bring to “tidy” up a scene (i.e. get rid of leaves, small branches, brambles, etc). They also come in very useful if labels are left on clothes, and any of the multitude of reasons you’d need scissors for!
2) Rose Clippers
On the subject of “tidying” up a location, some foliage is a little too thick and this is when my rose clippers would come out. They’ve saved me lots of Photoshop time across many a shoot.
3) Fabric (thick or thin)
Sometimes it’s not so easy to predict whether an outdoor location would be muddy or not. I always bring fabric along to protect the garments from getting dirty. If the dress the model is wearing is full length I would make sure to always have fabric tucked underneath so as to protect it from dirt. Ideally using a fabric that’s a similar colour to the dress makes life easier.
If you’re a natural light shooter then bringing a reflector along is always a good idea. It’s a great tool to manipulate light as well as doubling up as a scrim, providing some shade where there isn’t any available. It’s also super versatile as it comes in handy on occasions where I forget to bring fabric and needed to protect the garments.
5) Safety Pins and Hair Grips
Two things that are a staple in my camera bag! If you’re working with an experienced hair or makeup artist they would bring these along with them. I, however, can always count on something going wrong on location shoots such as, zips breaking, hairstyle needing tweaking, pinning the dress so it fits better, etc!
We all know that the more you can capture in camera the better, and that’s why it’s worth going the extra step in preparation.
Here are a few more suggestions for a comfortable location shoot!
– Water: Hydration is always a good idea!
– Hand warmers, hot water bottles and heaters: Great if you’re shooting in the winter.
– Umbrella: Have one for the model if you’re shooting in the summer.
– Food and snacks: Because food puts everyone in a good mood!
– Music and a bluetooth speaker: To help set the mood and vibe
– Ladder: Useful as a prop or to capture a new perspective/angle.
– Battery bank: You never know when people’s phones or other things need to be charged. It’s always good to have something in this situation to keep you covered.
– Shower Cap: If it were to rain, you can protect your camera with it and it also allows you to still work with it.
I would love to know, what are your location shoot essentials? It’s always interesting to see what other photographers bring along to shoots!
You can see more of Bella’s work at BellaKotak.com, and follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.
I have come to bring mosquito/insect repellent stray and an insect bite/sting kit while shooting in central Texas anywhere remotely near water. I have had shoots stop a few minutes into them because model was extremely allergic to mosquito bites. One shoot was almost stopped at the beginning because model got bitten/stung by some bug. Fortunately, park personnel had a sting kit to apply and shoot went on. At a waterfall shoot, model developed red lumps on face from mosquito bites that required Photoshopping. It is important to suggest to model to apply at first of shoot to help avoid shoot being cut short due to insect injuries.
Hi Bella….I notice a lot of “smoke” in your photographs. Do you use a smoke machine or is the smoke added in post production? Love your work!
Love the makeup on there awesome shots!