10 Tips for Planning a Summer Outdoor Photoshoot

Planning a summer outdoor photoshoot can be both exciting and challenging. As a photographer, you want to capture the perfect moments while managing logistics efficiently. At Iris Works, we understand the intricacies involved. Our studio management CRM for photographers simplifies planning and execution. Here are ten essential tips to ensure your summer outdoor photoshoot is a success.

1. Scout Locations Early

First, scout your locations well in advance. Summer is a popular time for outdoor activities, so parks, beaches, and other scenic spots can get crowded. Use Iris Works to keep track of potential locations and their availability. For this reason, having a few backup spots is crucial. Furthermore, early scouting allows you to identify the best times for lighting and weather conditions. Visiting at different times of the day helps you understand how the light changes and affects your shots. Moreover, checking the locations beforehand can reveal any potential issues, like construction or events, that could disrupt your plans.

2. Plan for the Golden Hours

Lighting can make or break a photoshoot. In fact, shooting during the golden hours—early morning and late afternoon—provides the best natural light. Use the scheduling features in Iris Works to plan shoots during these optimal times. Also, be prepared for rapidly changing light conditions. Moreover, golden hour light is softer and more flattering, enhancing your photos naturally. If you’re shooting multiple clients in a day, Iris Works booking calendar helps you stagger appointments perfectly to maximize this beautiful lighting. Also, consider how the sun’s position will change during the shoot and adjust your plans accordingly.


3. Check the Weather Forecast

Always check the weather forecast as the shoot date approaches. Summer weather can be unpredictable. Iris Works allows you to view the weeks weather at the top of your dashboard. If the weather looks unfavorable, you can reschedule easily using our platform. In addition, having a weather app handy on the day of the shoot is a good idea. Similarly, ensure you have a plan for unexpected weather changes. Bringing protective gear for your equipment, such as rain covers, can save your gear from sudden rain showers. Conversely, having sunscreen and hats can protect you and your clients from intense sunlight.

4. Communicate with Clients Clearly

Clear communication with clients is vital. Use Iris Works to send reminders and updates to your clients. For example, remind them about outfit suggestions, meeting times, and location details. Moreover, clear communication helps manage expectations and reduces last-minute cancellations. Additionally, keeping your clients informed shows professionalism and builds trust. Use Iris Works to share a detailed itinerary of the shoot day. This includes timing, location changes, and any necessary preparations clients need to make. Also, having a clear contract can outline what clients can expect, helping prevent misunderstandings. Iris Works has free contract templates for you to edit and use.

5. Bring the Right Gear

Packing the right gear is essential. Ensure you have multiple lenses, extra batteries, and memory cards. Create checklists to help you remember everything. This way, you won’t forget anything important. Moreover, consider bringing reflectors and diffusers to control natural light. In addition, portable shades or umbrellas can help manage harsh sunlight. Don’t forget to pack cleaning supplies for your lenses, as outdoor shoots can be dusty or sandy. Likewise, a sturdy tripod can be invaluable for steady shots, especially in low light conditions during the golden hours.

6. Prepare for Comfort

Comfort is key for both you and your clients. Encourage clients to wear comfortable clothing suitable for the weather. Iris Works can help you send detailed preparation guides to your clients. This includes tips on hydration, sunscreen, and appropriate footwear. Additionally, bringing water and snacks can keep energy levels up. Also, taking breaks ensures everyone stays comfortable and cooperative. Suggest that clients bring a change of clothes if the shoot will be long or involve different looks. Equally, having a portable chair can be a lifesaver during breaks.

7. Plan Your Shots

Planning your shots in advance saves time and ensures a smooth photoshoot. Create a shot list and share it with your clients through Iris Works automated emails. This keeps everyone on the same page. For example, decide on poses, angles, and specific locations within the venue. Similarly, a shot list helps you stay organized and efficient. Moreover, it ensures you capture all the essential moments. Discussing the shot list with your clients beforehand can also help them feel more prepared and confident. Above all, flexibility in your shot list allows for spontaneous moments that add authenticity to your photos.


8. Adapt to the Environment

Adaptability is crucial in outdoor photography. Be ready to adjust your plans based on the environment. Iris Works allows you to make quick updates to your schedule and shot list. If a chosen spot becomes crowded, have alternative locations in mind. Moreover, natural elements like wind or shadows can be unpredictable. So, being flexible ensures you make the most of any situation. For example, wind can add a dynamic element to hair and clothing, creating beautiful, candid moments. Conversely, shadows can add depth and contrast to your photos when used creatively.

9. Manage Time Wisely

Time management is essential during a summer outdoor photoshoot. Create a detailed timeline for the day. Allocate specific times for each location and set reminders for transitions. For this reason, staying on schedule helps you make the most of the golden hours. Additionally, it ensures you have enough time for setup, shooting, and breakdown. Buffer time between shoots can be helpful to handle any unexpected delays. Likewise, keeping track of time ensures you don’t rush through important shots, maintaining high-quality results throughout the day.

10. Review and Backup Immediately

After the shoot, review and backup your photos immediately. Backing up your photos ensures you don’t lose any precious moments. Moreover, reviewing the shots helps you identify any necessary retakes or adjustments. In addition, timely organization streamlines your editing process. Create multiple backups, both on physical drives and cloud storage, to secure your work. Furthermore, cataloging your photos by date and client helps you stay organized and efficient. Use Iris Works to schedule your post-shoot workflow, ensuring you allocate time for these crucial tasks.


In conclusion, planning a successful summer outdoor photoshoot requires careful preparation and flexibility. Utilizing Iris Works can significantly enhance your workflow and communication. From scouting locations to managing time, our CRM supports you every step of the way. Moreover, clear communication and adaptability are key. So, implement these tips and watch your summer outdoor photoshoots thrive. Happy shooting!

By following these ten tips, you’ll be well on your way to capturing stunning summer outdoor photos. Embrace the beauty of natural light and the spontaneity of outdoor settings. Use Iris Works to manage the details, leaving you free to focus on your creativity. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a budding photographer, these strategies will help you make the most of the summer season. Enjoy the process, and let your passion for photography shine through every shot!

Start Your 14 Day Free Trial

No credit card required!



Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.