June 15, 2017

How to Survive Outdoor Professional Photos in the Texas Heat


From June through September the average high temperature in Austin reaches over 90 degrees. Anyone who has lived through this Texas seasonal cycle is acutely aware that temperatures over 100 degrees are dreadfully common in the summer. Taking photos in the summer presents a different set of challenges, but it’s nothing that can’t be overcome by the skill and talent of a professional photographer and a few tips to help you get by. When you sit for a photo shoot in the summer, there are several things you can do to reduce the visible impact of the heat in your final outdoor professional photos session.

Stay hydrated during outdoor professional photos

Rule number one: remember to keep yourself hydrated as you prepare days and hours before the photo shoot. The water will help your skin tone stay vibrant and reduce that “drawn” look we can get when the summer heat and humidity are kicking our butts. Drinking plenty of water is always a great idea, but more so in the summer and especially when you are trying to put your best face forward! Take plenty of water with you to the photo shoot and try to keep it ice cold.

Don’t use too much makeup – it will melt 

Although we all love to beautify ourselves with our favorite makeup, don’t overdo it – especially if you’re going to be shooting outdoors. Use a lightweight foundation that won’t run, too much makeup will cause the camera image to look “flat” and heavy foundation – especially liquid foundation makeup can cake in the heat and it won’t be pretty. Certain skin types can react to extreme heat by breaking out with slight discolorations caused by the capillaries in the skin reacting to the heat. If this happens, then use the foundation to even out the tone as best you can. Applying makeup just before the shoot, in this case, is probably a good idea, since your skin can react as the temperature changes throughout the day.

Guys, you can use foundation in these settings, too. Applying foundation correctly can help hide areas where you’ll naturally be sweating more. It can especially help even your skin tone when shooting during the time of day that is more prone to higher temperatures.

Dress professionally, but as comfortably as possible

Getting great outdoor professional photos relies heavily on the comfort level of the subject (which is you). Depending on the style of shots you are doing, dressing comfortably is essential for surviving the Texas summer temperatures. With just professional headshots, don’t forget that the camera won’t focus on anything below the mid-chest, so feel free to wear shorts and sandals with your suit jacket and tie! No one will know! 

If you are sitting there in 98 degrees and wearing a wool suit and tie along with closed leather shoes, you are not going to be very relaxed and comfortable. The same goes for women. If your business attire is a suit, then do the same thing; wear shorts and sandals combined with your blouse and jacket. However, if you’re aiming for that professional full-body shot, forget the shorts idea. If you must dress professionally, aim to shoot outdoor professional photos near a venue or spot with a bathroom or dressing room. That way, you can bring your clothes with you and get dressed at the venue. For the lucky ones who can dress casual for business, be sure to wear the lightest and airiest clothing that you have that still meets your dress code.

Tips for styling your hair to endure outdoor professional photos

Heat and particularly humidity can transform a perfect hairstyle into a bird’s nest after a while. Depending on your hair texture, there are a few different things you can do to reduce the effects of heat and humidity – at least for the duration of the outdoor professional photos. For your comfort, it is best to have your hair pulled back off your neck and face. This is obviously an alternative and more comfortable option, but it may be best to suck it up and leave your hair down for a more sleek and professional look.

Make sure you schedule any haircuts or styling appointments for at least 5 days before your outdoor professional photos, because this allows for your hair to begin filling in naturally after a fresh haircut. You want to look as professional and as natural as possible. For men who spend time outdoors in the sun, make sure your pre-shoot haircut doesn’t reveal any tan lines on your neck or face, or just go for a touch-up.

The biggest tip you should keep in mind when scheduling an outdoor professional photoshoot is to prepare and plan ahead of time and plan for multiple scenarios. When you’re ready to put your best face forward – whether indoors in our luxurious two-story studio filled with natural light, or in an outdoor setting, the team at Korey Howell Photography is here to help you look your best on picture day. Contact us to book now and find out how we make picture day the BEST day of your week.  

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