5 Tips to Spice up Outdoor Photoshoots5 min read

How to get KILLER images, outdoors!


Outdoor photoshoots can be an affordable and fun way to get stunning photos. While they may be weather dependent, outdoor photoshoots are always some of my favorite. When I was just starting out in photography, I pretty much solely did my shoots outside because I didn’t have to worry about studio rentals and the fees that come with it.


Outdoor photoshoots let me take my business to the next level while still keeping my overhead low. Now that I’ve built up my clientele, and started expanding into boudoir and more branded shoots, I’ve started making the switch to studio shoots. Living in Ottawa, the cold winter weather can put a damper on outdoor shoots, but I still love a good nature shoot.


If you’re looking to keep your costs low, they’re an amazing way to do so without losing out on photo quality. Studio spaces can be expensive and cause you to hike up your rates so doing solely outdoor shoots is a great way to start out. Plus, you get to take advantage of the natural lighting.



Outdoor shoots don’t have to be boring or stagnant. There are so many easy ways to spice them up and give them a little more flare. They can also help you adapt your shoot to your subject and their vision for the shoot. 


If you’ve been struggling with how to change up your outdoor photoshoots, I came up with 5 tips to help you optimize your shoots. 




This can be one of the struggles with outdoor shoots but it can also be a blessing. Try to schedule your shoots on days that are supposed to be overcast. While you might think that a bright sunny day would be optimal for photos, that’s often not the case.


Sunny days can cause shadows on your subject which can be fun to work into a shoot but don’t always fit the style of the shoot. This is particularly true if the model you’re working with wears glasses. There’s nothing I hate more than trying to work around huge face shadows caused by glasses.


Use Juxtaposition 

I love adapting the background to help enhance the photos and create a POP between their outfit and the backdrop. If your model has a brightly coloured, floral outfit, look for a background that’s more neutral, or vice versa.


Take a neutral-coloured outfit, add in some flair with a colourful or textured backdrop. In order for this to work, talk to your model ahead of time and see what they’re planning on wearing. Then, you can find a place that’s well suited for the look they’re going for. 


Change Up Your Poses


You don’t have to use the same poses over and over. Take advantage of your surroundings and find new and fun ways of working them into your photos. One of my favourite ways to spice up photos is to use a nearby wall to get varying angles and depth in the photos. I love doing a mix of standing and sitting poses if the location allows it. If your space doesn’t allow for too many poses then try changing the angle to still get a number of varying looks.


Incorporate Props 


Another way to step up your photoshoot game is by adding a prop or two. I like using one prop and having that be the center of the shoot. It can be as simple as a coffee cup or a jacket to add some movement or depth to the image.


Props are also a super fun way to adapt a shoot for holidays, adding a pumpkin, wreath or champagne flute adds a festive flair. Props can help take a basic, everyday location to a more specific shoot.


Do Some Prep


Talk with your model ahead of time and find out what their vision is for the shoot. This always helps me prepare for a shoot and get an idea of the types of shots I’m wanting to get. It also lets you plan out your location and if you want to incorporate any props.


I always suggest having them send you a vision board for the shoot or at least some photo inspiration. I love seeing what their ideal photos would look like and it also helps me get an idea of the colour scheme or editing style they want. 


While I’ve switched to doing a larger number of studio shoots, I will always keep going back to outdoor shoots. They have such a cute flare to them and make photoshoots affordable. Take these tips, grab your camera and get snapping! If you’re ever looking for some photography inspiration, feel free to check out the photography page of my blog for ideas.


P.S. I always love to see the shots you come up with so don’t hesitate to tag me, on Instagram, in your photos.

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