I know that family photos in June, July, and August are not as popular as some of the other milder months. And that’s totally understandable. I don’t really want a gallery full of photos where I’m sweating my makeup off and have sweat stains on my outfit and everyone is red-faced. But sometimes, summer is the best time to book photos because your family’s schedule might be a little more flexible, a little more open. When that’s the case, you can absolutely make family photos work and still end up with a beautiful gallery. Just make sure you’re working with a photographer who knows how to navigate a hot session.
First off, I always remind my clients about an hour/hour and a half before our session that they should bring cold water bottles for everyone who’s in the photos. Depending on the location, we can bring them along or head back to the car for sporadic A/C and water breaks.
Next, I make sure (as the photographer) I get to our location early and get my camera out of the A/C of the car before my clients arrive. Why? If you go straight from the cool of your car to the heat of nature for a session, your lens will fog up and you will have to wait around while your clients stand there sweating. Just make sure your camera acclimates to the heat/humidity before your client is there so that you can start shooting right away.
Lastly, I shoot fast. I have a work flow for any session, whether it’s engagement, family, milestone, senior, whatever. When it’s particularly hot out, I go through that work flow at a faster rate. I know my choice spots for every location. We get there, we go through our poses, then we move. Then we go through other poses, other combinations of people, then move. We stay in the shade, we take breaks when we need, and we move as quickly as we can. In this particular session, they booked an ‘up to an hour’ session. I word it that way because I know there are times when we won’t go a full hour, but we’ll get all the photos we need.
In a typical hour-long session, I deliver between 75-150 images. It all depends on the setting, the number of people, the temperature, the participants’ attitudes, etc. This session was booked for an hour. We shot for 30 minutes before everyone got too hot to continue. I delivered 123 images after 30 minutes of shooting. It’s not about the length of time. If you have willing participants, a great location, and the motivation to mov quickly, you can get a full gallery in less time.