Autumn is a great time for relaxing at home under warm blanket, with hot tea and a nice book to read or a movie to watch. But not for a photographer. If you still consider autumn not the best time for outdoor shooting… well, any kind of shooting and blame your seasonal low-spirits for it, let me change your mind.
There are a lot of things any person can do during this colorful season. As for photographer, autumn can bring your creativity to the new level. Here is a short inspirational list of things to do in fall when you’re a photographer.
Get a Perfect Reason for a New Photoshoot
Autumn festivities are a perfect reason for setting up a cool studio photoshoot with a unique theme and offer it to your clients. Halloween, Thanksgiving Day are the most popular fall themes you can use to create wonderful shoots for families, couples, newlyweds, children and even pets.
Show your creativity and offer your clients unusual photo shoots in autumn colors or in pumpkin-style studio. It can be a Cinderella story with her Pumpkin Coach for a wedding or a love story; hunting-style photo for a dog and its owner; or cool-hats party for a friendly team. use your imagination and think of various fall-related topics you can turn into amazing shoots.
Don’t forget to contact your loyal customers with an offer of a unique shooting. Offer discounts for shooting or even run contest and giveaways prior to holidays. I hope you know your target audience better than others and will be able to find the best themes for it.
Take on Your Online Presence
Going online in modern world means winning the audience. When you have no interest in going outside and getting wet in the rain, you can improve your web presence. First of all, it is your website. You have a perfect opportunity to get more audience and potential clients.
Check out its performance to find out how long does it take to load. Did you know that Google has included a website speed in its algorithm? Yes, it’s one of the major ranking factors now you simply cannot ignore. Since photo portfolio websites are full of large high-quality photos, loading speed may appear a kind of issue for you. One of your primal tasks this fall is finding the tools and services that can help you boost your website performance. There are tons of paid and free resources that can do magic to your online photos and make them weigh less by keeping the quality on high level.
Kraken. This optimizer has a free online version that allows you compressing images in lossy or lossless format. You can also upgrade to Pro and enjoy more services offered.
RIOT. This one stands for Radical Image Optimisation Tool and offers a cool interface that allows you comparing your image before and after compression. You can use this service as a standalone application for Windows, or add it as a plugin to GIMP, IrfanView etc.
ImageOptim. This free application makes images load faster without affecting their quality. Its secret in removing the odd data from files keeping pixels safe.
FileOptimizer. This handy tool has cool performance and offers amazing results in compressing .jpg, .png as well as other image and document files.
Responsiveness – is another key point in making cool photo portfolio website. Try various platforms for website creation, but make sure you will receive an easy-to-manage website that will fit into various devices without issues. WordPress is still one of the most popular services for photographer blogs, but not all its themes are responsive. You may try other tools like MotoCMS that has a great experience in responsive website creation. In any case, if you ever thought of your website redesign – autumn is the best time to do it.
Another opportunity of increasing your audience online is boosting your social network presence. No secret at all, that social media today is a huge conversion-boosting and audience-winning tool. It’s the place where your photos and offers can be spread with a blink of an eye.
Social networks offer various opportunities you can use for attracting new followers to your account and blog, getting new customers and more working experience as the following:
- Post your photos from the latest photoshoots;
- Share your blog posts with your social account followers;
- Announce events, sessions and specials;
- Run contests with prizes;
- Post various tips and tricks on photography-related themes;
- Offer inspirational or funny content (like behind-the-scene looks) etc.
Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are probably the most popular social networks you can use for connecting your potential audience. Additionally, such photography-focused platforms like Pinterest and Instagram offer plenty opportunities of boosting your marketing performance.
Get Your Photo Studio Ready
Since you’ll be making more shoots indoor (autumn weather can be tricky and most photographers prefer taking indoor sessions this season), you should prepare your studio. It concerns not just its interior, but many other characteristics including heating and conveniences. To make your studio comfy for your clients (and for yourself as well) you should take a closer look to the following points:
Check out the lighting. It’s one of the most vital aspects of a good shooting. carefully examine what kind of lighting do you have in your studio and how you can improve it. In autumn days get shorter and you can suffer from lack of natural light. You should assess how many windows does your studio offer and how you can compensate the lack of natural light with artificial lighting. You can use hot or warm lights depending on what style and what effect you wish to achieve on your photos. But prepare them beforehand so that you could escape issues during the photo shoot;
Take care of lighting control. After you decided upon the sources of light and their quantity, check out the lighting control. Set up light diffusers and reflectors to achieve hard or soft light depending on your needs. If you use strobes, connect them to your camera so that it tell the strobes when to fire (get sync cords and check out they to work properly);
Prepare the background and decorations. Depending on the theme of a photo shoot, prepare the proper background, decorations and nice autumn-related accessories you can use during the shooting;
Take care of camera support. Tripod is one of the most popular camera supporting gears, but not for the studio. Tripods were made to be very flexible and light so that you could take them outside. But they take much time to adjust all three legs and height, so studio stands are a much better option for indoor use.
Prepare Your Camera for Outdoor Use
Studio shoots are cool, but autumn is a great time to go outside and take a few photos of foliage and beautiful nature dressed up in bright colors. If you decide to take your camera outside, you will need to protect your gear from autumn-specific weather conditions. Here are a few tips for you.
Rain. Autumn rain or morning fog can be beautiful backgrounds for romantic shooting. Don’t let a few water drops to stop you from that. Most of less expensive camera lenses and other gear is not waterproof, so you should take care to save them from getting wet. It’s easy to do with the use of camera sleeve that cost from a couple of dollars for a plastic model to a few dozens for a sleeve of more durable materials. Choose a proper size that fits your camera lenses and don’t forget about lense hood – they work perfect together.
Wind. Wind itself does no harm to camera gear unless it takes dust, sand, water of leaves along. UV filters or hoods can be great means for protecting lenses from sand, water drops or tiny debris.
If you use a stand or tripod while shooting, make sure it won’t be taken down with rude wind. Use your rucksack to weigh it down. A heavy stone in a bag tied down to tripod will work too. Some photographers use an umbrella to protect camera from wind.
Cold. While the early autumn may please you with warm sunny weather, cold is a pretty common this season. The winter is coming and late autumn weather may surprize you with unexpected frost and first snow.
Snow is not a problem for you as long as you use the same protection as from rain. Cold also has no affect to camera or its lenses until it stays dry. Problems can start when condensation starts building up on your lenses when you take them from cold place into warmer conditions (e.g. into your car). Mold that develops in such cases can ruin your gear.
You can protect your camera by sealing it in an air-tight bag before walking inside a warm building or getting into a car. Condensation will build up on this bag while your camera will naturally reach room temperature without getting excessive moisture.
Mud. You cannot always keep clean while shooting. It concerns cases when you shoot children or pets, or take macro. Sometimes you need to roll in the mud to get a cool shot of a small dog or a tiny bug. Again, as in case of rain, use plastic bag or a special sleeve to protect your lenses.
No weather conditions can prevent a real photographer from going outside and taking cool photos. Autumn nature can be extremely beautiful rain or shine. It can become an amazing background for family photos or get in focus for elegant landscape pics.
Here are 4 tips for taking cool outdoor photos in autumn.
- Capture the color. Autumn season bursts with warm vibrant color combinations you definitely should catch with your camera. Find beautiful trees, landscapes or just ask your models to wear brighter clothes when you shoot on gloomy weather. It will create a perfect contrast and adds chic to your photos.
- Add water. Find locations near the water to achieve stunning results with landscape photography. Use water like a mirror. Even a small puddle after the rain can add a dash of creativity to your shot.
- Try macro. Shoot close-ups of leaves, late flowers or insects with the use of macro lens. just setting up a macro mode will work too. You can achieve a really dramatic photos.
- Set aside those trite “leafy” portraits and try something new. Shoot the trees from the ground to capture the sky, make some funny portraits of children hanging down from tree branches like mischievous monkeys.
Remember, you can always take some accessories outdoor and make cool family or portrait shots outside the studio with even more outstanding results. And don’t be afraid of getting dirty. Clothes can be washed up, memories – never!
Due to specific autumn conditions in terms of lighting and colors, you can make a full bunch of experiments with light, white balance and other technical aspects to get really unique photos.
Use a tripod. To get amazing results with autumn photos, you should better avoid using flash. in these cases you will need a tripod to avoid noisy and blurry images. Turn off flash, setup ISO to 100, experiment with longer shatter speed. You will be surprised with deeper and more elegant colors you get on your photos.
Play with white balance. Whenever it’s possible, turn off auto mode and experiment with white balance settings. Use preset modes like “cloudy” or “sun” or try to change those numbers little by little to achieve stunning results.
Use underexposure. This technique will give you darker photos with deeper saturation. Then use Photoshop (or other software you like) to increase contrasts a bit and play with its colors. It can result in great intriguing shots.
Try polarizing filters. These filters can do magic to your photos. They will add underexposure to photos without you need to set it up manually. You will get an Instagram look to your photos without using its filters.
Create Festive Mood
You can bring a bit of holiday ambience to your work today. Small details, tiny presents for you will definitely set up your mind to more creative and festive frame. It can be anything: a cool pen for short notes, nice music for outdoor hiking or colorfull funny wallpaper for your PC. like the one you can download below:
That’s all for today. Hope I managed to persuade you that autumn is a great season for the most fantastic photos and cool opportunities. If you get more ideas for things to do in autumn – share them in comments.