My ingredients for a summer shoot in February!


“Thumbs up! Funding has been approved. I’m ready to book a photo shoot. I need the photos ready by end of February for the web designer so the campaign can run from mid March. It’s a SUMMER campaign.” Karen Laing, Fit School.


Open your recipe book for a foundation of good ideas

Having spent many months preparing her project, Karen was finally ready to book and select her photographer. Step-in me! We discussed her ideas, which helped me to understand the fitness campaign she planned to promote for the Active Essex Foundation. There was a clear target audience and a wealth of ideas that could be photographed. We were ready to start planning the finer details of the shoot.


Gather your ingredients…


Select location

An outdoor shoot was definitely what Karen wanted, that way she could maximise the activities illustrated for her project. We would need space for bike riding, children’s play activities, bootcamp style workouts, running and dog walking. Karen chose her location, a country park with paths, bridges and open fields with the aim that we could move about and use the location to it’s fullest. But would we be able to make it look summery enough, especially as the trees were bare, the ground was muddy and everything had that end of winter brown look to it?



Add in some willing models

It’s one thing booking paid models for a shoot and a whole different thing asking friends and family. But sometimes the latter is the only option. Karen was lucky to have a good selection of people willing to brace the chilly weather and join in her arranged activities whilst being photographed. They’d been prepped on outfit choices, given times to arrive and bought along suggest props too. The pinch of salt was asking the intrepid crew to take off their warm coats, hats, etc. I needed to photograph them doing their activities in ‘summer’ t-shirts. Keeping the pace of the shoot quick and switching in and out models meant they could take a few moments to snuggle back into warm jackets before braving the cold again. A few well-placed summer hats and sunglasses helped with the overall look.



Mix with some dry weather

Can you believe we missed the snow by 3 days? It was honestly so cold but still the volunteers managed to put on their best summer smiles, with the sun shining adding a glow to their faces. So as dry weather can’t be guaranteed a back-up plan is a good idea. Although my client was on a tight deadline we had left enough room for moving our shoot date should we have needed.



So I guess the last ingredient would be an understanding client, willing to be adaptive and who has faith in my creative skills when it comes to angling photographs and editing a summer look into the overall images.


Good luck Karen with the #3030Essex campaign – 30 minutes of exercise a day for 30 days sounds doable to me.

© 2020 Entirely Catherine Photography