This Summer, Prepare Yourself for Shoots of Swimwear Models

This Summer, Prepare Yourself for Shoots of Swimwear Models

Here in North America, this year has been a very cold, very long winter. Furthermore, I live in Houston, Texas, so this freezing rain business in March can already go out with a bang. If I’m honest, during these extended gray days in recent months, I was enjoying shooting moody styles outdoors. But summer is right around the corner, which means outdoor swimwear projects are starting up, which is one of my favorite styles to photograph. Since there has been such bleak weather over the winter, have you planned ahead for the most popular fashion and glamor photograph seasons?

Before I go any further, let me acknowledge that the stereotypical image of a model in a bikini is the worst. As a result, you see this far too often in our industry, and so often that you develop a bad taste for bikini photos in general. If you plan and imagine what you want to do before you take your swimwear photos, you can make your photographs stand out above the crowd.

Scouting Locations

To start with, you should know where you prefer to shoot commercial swimwear work, whether it’s in your city or town or wherever you go on a regular basis. A few locations you can recommend to the client should be on your mind when they call you. As you’re shooting swimwear, the locations should ideally go with the swimwear and bikini fashions in general. It goes without saying that there is no rule about swimwear photography locations, necessarily, but having a range of options is always ideal since you may not have a lot of time to take advantage of that perfect summer weekend weather.

A Light Source

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Recently, I have prioritized natural light over mixed light whenever possible when shooting outdoors. I use a variety of scrims and reflectors to explore the best posing, lighting, and locations for natural light shots. Because of the softness they provide, I enjoy large, thick scrims, but when I set up sets I have to be aware of the loss or two they cause. The softness of white reflectors is also a reason I prefer them to silver ones most of the time.

The summer before last, I was in Florida, where I shot parts of Aneta Kowal’s calendar and poster project, working hard to utilize natural light. As a result, more strobing was done than I had planned, but I simply had to improvise each time, each day, and create the best picture I could, depending on the location and conditions.

A Shot At Selling

The first and foremost rule of selling a shot is not to overlook the little things. It is important to at least showcase your location somewhat in your images if you spend the time and effort finding an amazing location. When you’re just going to shoot your subjects against a flat blue sky or on a concrete wall, why bother to get permission to shoot on the resort’s private beach? This could be accomplished almost anywhere. The location needs to be brought into the mix to convey to your subject where he or she is, and why this makes sense as a swimwear shoot.