Summertime is here! And with the longer days and extra sunshine, this is the perfect time to take some friends out for a photo shoot. But whether you're new to photography or you're a seasoned pro, inspiration for shoots can be hard to come by. Luckily, summer provides its own unique set of photographic opportunities.
1. Gather up a group of friends for a day at the beach. Bring sunhats, boogie boards, and all of your beachiest props. Get candid shots of your friends splashing and playing in the water. Use a high shutter speed to freeze the movement of hair flying and waves crashing. Take portraits of your friends posing in the sand with their hats, towels and boards. Once the sun goes down, have a bonfire on the beach and take advantage of the firelight for more candid shots of marshmallows roasting and friends laughing.
2. Buy some sparklers and experiment with long exposures. Place your camera on a tripod and set the shutter speed to between five or 10 seconds. Have your friend spell out a word in the air while the shutter is open and the sparkler is lit. This technique requires some trial and error, but it can produce amazing, fun results with a festive, 4th of July feel.
3. Summer is the time for bright colors, short dresses and funky sunglasses. Grab your most colorful outfits and accessories, and bring a group of friends to your favorite scenic location or set up a fun backdrop in your home. Take pictures of your friends in every combination of colorful garb. Play around with the reflections in the sunglasses. Have fun with it by taking photos of your friends jumping, giving each other piggy back rides and goofing off. You’ll end up with a gallery of photos ready for a spread in the summer issue of your favorite fashion mag.
4. Practice your food photography with a picnic in the park. Bring a colorful, patterned blanket, your favorite dishware, and, of course, some grub! Lay out your meal on the blanket and experiment with different combinations of food and drink for the photos. Continue to photograph the meal even after you start eating. Get a before picture with everything set up, and an after picture with just the crumbs.
5. Bust out your sprinkler and bring some friends over to jump around in your backyard. Give your models umbrellas and to use as props. Experiment with different shutter speeds to create different effects with the water -- faster shutter speeds will freeze the droplets, while slower shutter speeds will create a milky effect. Have your model twirl an umbrella overhead and set your shutter speed to 1/30 of a second. This will give the water and umbrella a blurred effect, while still keeping the model sharp.