Dance, Movement

Tips for Outdoor Photo Shoots

With my latest online workshop ‘Posing for Pictures 2 – Outdoor Shoot Edition‘ fresh in mind, here are a few quick tips for getting the most out of your outdoor photo shoots!

1. Preparing

What I do to prepare for outdoor photo shoots is very similar to the tips for studio shoots I shared in this earlier Blog Post.

For outdoor shoots specifically, there are a few extra things that I do/consider:

  • Selecting ‘outdoor appropriate’ costumes (they might get damaged/dirtied, so I try to choose robust – or cheaper(!) ones)
  • Making my outfits more ‘adaptable’ (by using props, accessories, skirt tucks and/or styling tweaks)
  • Imagining the colors and atmospheres of my environment (which in turn helps me to choose my outfits/props!)
  • Selecting props and/or outfits in different colors (this way there will be more visuals to play with!)
  • Experimenting with natural-light makeup & hair (one of my biggest inspirations is this video – I simply add ‘half-lashes’ and lip color!)
  • Protecting myself from bugs and beasties, as well as from the sun(!)
  • Practicing my balance, and strengthening my core, legs and ankles (as I might have to climb/perch/pose/balance in difficult to reach places!)
Bringing new meaning to ‘porcelain skin‘, and balance πŸ™‚ – picture by Die Elster

2. Packing

My packing list is similar to what I would pack for a regular shoot (I’ve included my basic packing list in the P4P1 package)

Except for a few things:

  • I try to pack very lightly (as I might have to carry all of the things!) and/or team up with a friend
  • I do as much as possible of my makeup/hair at home, and I only bring what I need to touch up and/or modify for a second set
  • I wear/pack sensible, light shoes (thank you Rosa!) that go on/off easily, so I can get to wherever we need to be, in costume and all
  • I pack some water, and some light, portable snacks (i.e. emergency bananas!)
  • If at all possible, I try to wear at least part of my first outfit (if I can walk/drive in it well) to save changing time on location
  • I carry all my things in a set of sturdy ‘flat-bottomed’ tote bags (these double as posture help!)
  • I do my best extra to arrange my things neatly, so I can easily find what I need
  • Props will go on top, I consider my veils and fan veils ‘essentials’ πŸ™‚
So glad I brought (and ironed!) that red veil! Picture by Die Elster

3. Posing

I shared my favorite basic posing tips, and the ways I like to use props, in my first online Posing for Pictures workshop (get the recordings here!)

Some extra ideas/things to consider for outdoor shootings are:

  • Bring some extra (preferably light!) props that can be used as ‘environment/frame’
  • Play with the shapes and colors around you (imagine what kinds of poses would go well with the backgrounds)
  • Be aware of when you feel the sunlight on your face (so you are always ‘lighted‘ in the pose!)
  • Try moving in slow motion (or moving your costume/prop around you – while you lean, pose, twist and extend)
  • Experiment with seated, standing, leaning-on-your-environment poses, depending on where you are at.
  • Stairways and ledges can make for excellent photo props!
Bonus Tip: The red ‘streams’ are fan veils! Picture by Die Elster

4. Bonus Tips for windy weather

  • If it is windy, posing with props can become a bit tricky, but you can also use it to your advantage! πŸ™‚
  • Make your veils into sails (using tucks, wraps and clever angles) and attempt to have a wind-proof hairdo/direction at the same time
  • Try facing, back-facing or side-facing the winds, put your legs/body in position and then let the air do it’s work on your props/skirt!
  • Be prepared to adapt your position/angle/arms to changing wind directions (use that core!)
  • Practice blustery poses at home using a fan (we do this hereΒ as well!) so you can find your best arm/body angles
  • Do this with fan veils too (if you have them), as it can make for spectacular results!
  • Be safe, know your limits, and always stay aware of your feet, especially if you have to keep balance! (I like to pose barefoot, so I can feel where I am, but in some cases it’s best to wear shoes, you can simply keep/cut them out of frame)
Catching the air – Picture by Die Elster

PS: Would you like me to help you fix your poses? πŸ™‚

For a practical set of common posing fixes, check out part 2 of my Posing for Pictures 2 digital workshop!


Balancing on the rocks – Picture by Die Elster

If you have any favorite outdoor posing tips (or questions!) let me know below!

xx K.

Hope these tips will be helpful for your next photo shoot.

Have a great day, and free to share!


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