A Guide to Outdoor Photography

Have you noticed the change yet?

No, we’re not talking about meeting people outside for the first time in months instead of logging onto Zoom and pretending to listen to what is being said (come on, you’ve drifted off into Zoom dreamland at least once, right?). No, the change is that – at last – the mornings are becoming brighter earlier and the evenings lighter for longer. This means one thing – spring is here, with summer just around the corner!

This time of the year is perfect for dusting off your camera, ready to snap away at your heart’s content. Alternatively, asking a friend to assume the photographer’s role is just as ideal. Either way, April and its subsequent months usually provide just the right conditions to capture glorious, high-definition images. But can you utilise the improved weather in your quest to achieve brilliant snapshots? Follow our quick guide and you could soon be on the right path to having the finest portfolios for all your modelling pictures.

1. What time is it? Choose the time of day wisely. Avoid taking photos under the midday sun – the sun is often too strong and the subjects tend to squint. Instead, opt for late afternoon or early evening or, even better, the last hour before sunset.  

2. Choose a short telephoto lens (one that is a minimum of 60mm) – and this doesn’t have to be a zoom lens!

3. Use a tripod to steady both your camera and concentration.

4. Using a reflector helps light reflect back into your subject’s face – the most important part of the photo (unless you’re not taking a portrait, of course…)

5. Select a focal point and stick to it!

6. Use shade to your advantage. Trees, buildings, roofs and even clouds can work wonders to eliminate silhouettes – including the dreaded “shadow under the chin” episode!

7. Experiment with flashes. They are not limited to indoor use, and are often overlooked in the great outdoors.

8. If available, take photos in RAW file – a digital negative that is taken directly from your camera’s sensor.

9. Pay particular attention to your eyes, and check which backgrounds suit your facial and body profiles. 

It’s sensible to ask some basic questions at your local camera outlet, and to experiment. Taking photographs should be fun, and outdoor photography is one of life’s pleasures!

It’s always a challenge for models to keep their photographic updates in pristine order. We appreciate that everyone doesn’t have a digital camera, so we by all means accept shots using smartphones.

A quick checklist is:

  • Avoid lots of make-up – you don’t need it, and it won’t show a true representation of your (undoubtedly beautiful) face.
  • The perfect height-width ratio is 5:4.
  • Don’t use Photoshop!
  • Keep it simple, please.
  • Got tattoos, scars, or piercings? Fab – show them all!

Happy snapping!