5 Ways to Prepare for Spring/Summer Portrait Sessions

5 ways to prepare for Spring/Summer photo sessions
By Christina Greve

Today we had our first warm Spring day in Denmark. Yesterday it was freezing and today almost Summer conditions. Needless to say the weather has been talk of the town all day!

Inspired by the delicate sunshine and the singing birds, I decided to write some tips about starting the Spring/Summer outdoor photo session season. I personally LOVE to photograph my clients out in the open. It´s a little more work, but it´s all worth it.

Here´s the deal:

1. Scout for new interesting locations

It´s good to have a handful of great locations, consisting of places you´ve worked before. When you know a location well, you know the best shooting angles, the best backgrounds and the best time a day to shoot there, it makes your job less stressful.

You are in control and can concentrate much more on giving great service to your client. You can get the pictures done in less time without tiring out your subject.

Challenge yourself to choose 5 different locations. Make sure to test them to see how they work in practice.

When looking at locations, bear in mind that you’re probably going to use a wide aperture for most portraits, to create a shallow depth of field. Look for a background that will give interest without dominating.

Personally I like to pick places which are located in quiet areas without to many people around. Take a weekend to drive around and investigate your local area and see which great new places you can find for your Spring/Summer photo sessions.

You can take pictures of the location to show to your clients, to help them decide what they like.

By Photographer Christina Greve

2. Fine-tune your style

Ask yourself if it´s time to fine-tune your personal style. I´m not talking about big changes, but more small adjustments to improve your overall style.

Do you always use that same old hat on your subject or put them in that same old chair? Is it time for a change and for finding new amazing props for this season?

Look at ways you can challenge yourself to improve shooting angles, composition, lighting and styling. Don´t try to change to much at once, but decide for two or three small changes, that will instantly add something new to your photos.

By photographer Christina Greve

3. Get new clients to book you

There are many ways to get new clients to book you. What will work wonders this season, as well as in the long run, is having honest client testimonials on your website. Spend a few hours writing old clients, which you have had a great connection with and ask them for their testimonial.

For a testimonial to inspire potential clients to book you, it needs to say much more than “great work!” A perfect testimonial should describe the reason why the client chose to work with you, and it should outline the results. The more real and specific the details, the better.

Post the testimonials on your website. Know that they will work even stronger if you post it together with a picture of your client.

Another great tip is to send one or two gift vouchers to old customers. One they can use if they choose to re-book you this season, and one they can pass on to a friend aka potential client. Offer something like an extra free print, extra photos or a free  make up session before the shoot.

By photographer Christina Greve

4. Consider hiring an assistant

Shooting on location can be a bit demanding at times. There´s a lot more to consider than if you´re shooting in a studio. You need to handle all sorts of weather conditions so it can be handy with some help.

If you are shooting during the day when the sun is high on the sky, your assistant can help you hold a diffuser or reflector. Also I like to have someone to watch over my gear when I´m working. I get so focused looking into the camera and often tend to move away from my stuff. I´ve never gotten anything stolen, but you can never be to careful when working in a public place.

The assistant can also help your client change clothes and make sure they have something to drink + be your second eye during the shoot.

Often you can get a photography student to help you out for free, in exchange for tips and advices about photography. If you have an assistant with you, you are able to dedicate your full attention to your image making + give the best support to your client.

5. Create a Spring/Summer offer

Make sure to let your costumers know that you have special events going on for the coming season. Make special deals and events, like, “End of School”, “Super model for a day”, “Beach sessions” and “Summer break session” ect.

The more you can talk with excitement about your own events the better. Make your marketing a constant process of fun and inspiring events. If you are super excited about your own ideas and events, chances are your costumers will be too.

What about you, do you love to shoot on outdoor locations? Do you have a favorite location?

Have a wonderful day

Talk soon,

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10 thoughts on “5 Ways to Prepare for Spring/Summer Portrait Sessions

  1. hi christina,

    I love to go outside for a shoot, especially in spring and autumn! Sometiimes I am a bit “afraid” of the hard summer light and the resulting shadows, think I have to practice this summer :)

    thanks for your helpful tipps!

    1. Hi Nora

      It´s normal to be nervous of the harsh sunlight when doing an outdoor session, but when you try it a few times and find little funny solutions, it can turn out great :-)

      Hugs/ Christina

  2. I have been reading your fabulous blog for a long time now and just wanted to let you know you have inspired me to develop my photography and to start my own blog about living in Yorkshire…….thank you for the continuous source of inspiration I find your image simply beautiful!

    1. Oh wow, Sarah! That´s so great to hear and what a wonderful blog you have, so full of joy and happy pictures :-)

      Thank you so much for your kind words!

      Hugs/ Christina

  3. I love this post! It’s the perfect reminder with plenty of fresh inspiration :) I’m ready for some updates, changes and planing!

    Dearest Christina, thank you for constantly sharing your knowledge :)

  4. As a photographer in Central Florida, I shoot almost exclusively outside- morning and evening are my favorite times to avoid the harsh overhead sun. I am so inspired by the environment here- I can’t wait to book more spring sessions! If what you say is true, then maybe I am on the right track to booking these sessions.. Thank you for sharing your advice, experience & tips, Christina. I just rediscovered your blog. The way your passion & goodness shines through in your work and your posts makes me smile, and feel such affirmation for my path to becoming an empowered business owner.

  5. This is a great article. I LOVE shooting outside. It’s actually the only type of shooting I do as a freelancer. I really agree with you on the subject of having an assistant. My husband usually assist me and he has always been a life saver for me. (I’m always leaving things in my car). I love the idea about getting some testimonials from past clients and sending offers. I will be incorporating that into my freelance business.

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