How Advertising Photographers Combat the Changing of Seasons

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Wardrobes and weather aren’t the only things that change with the seasons. For advertising photographers, a new season brings new opportunities, new media and new methods. Lighting, colors and focus all change with each passing of the seasons.

To produce excellence in seasonal advertising photography, a photographer must remain aware of these shifts in the seasons and make appropriate adjustments. When properly embraced, the seasons provide incredible prospects and produce impeccable results.

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Seasonality of Advertising Photography

As the calendar pages turn, seasonal advertising photography turns with them. Lenses focus on new things each season. Advertising photographers adjust their subjects, their lighting and their locations to adapt to each new season. 

In the summer, the focus is on bright colors, fun in the sun and outdoor activities. Photo shoots are often focused on beaches and water, depicting subjects enjoying the weather and their surroundings. 

Fall shifts the focus to a different range of colors and activities. Rather than the bright, primary colors of summer, photographers incorporate the changing leaves and typical fall hues of orange, red and brown. Outdoor lighting becomes less harsh, and both indoor and outdoor settings are appropriate. 

Winter offers opportunities for snow-filled photos and holiday shoots. Specialized techniques are appropriate for capturing the best winter lighting and magical moments of the season.

The spring season represents new life and offers new opportunities for seasonal advertising photographers. Heavy rains must be taken into consideration and can be incorporated into shoot plans. 

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Different Seasons Bring Different Jobs

Not only must advertising photographers adjust their shoots and techniques each season, but they must also seek out and prepare for different types of jobs: 

Advertising Photographers

An advertising photographer captures images to help promote or sell a product or service. Their work may be featured in commercials, magazines, billboards, websites and more. For an advertising photographer, the seasons greatly affect their work. 

Most companies promote different products at different times of the year. These seasonal offerings create new subjects and types of shoots for an advertisement photographer every few months. They must be prepared to shift their focus to properly promote the correct theme for the season. 

Fashion Photographers 

These photographers create images of the latest trends in apparel, to promote clothing lines and brands. A fashion photographer cannot survive without keeping up with new trends each season. What’s hot? What will attract the right type of attention? What styles should be avoided? 

Incorporating the latest trends into their work is key. With each passing season, fashion changes and clothing lines adapt. The fashion photographer must adapt, too. From appropriate accessories for their models to the best setting for the season, fashion photographers must use the best options for the current season.

Celebrity Photographers

New music and new TV series hit the airwaves each season. Celebrity photographers can help boost popularity with the right images. As celebrities and shows are introduced, photographers play a key role in getting their faces in the public eye. Celebrity photographers help the stars look their best and help them promote their latest work. 

TV series are advertised across all media, requiring quality images taken by an advertising photographer. The goal is to keep the shows and their stars successful.

Musicians also rely heavily on the talents of celebrity photographers. Music releases are always accompanied by images of the artist or other artistic settings and graphics. 

Lifestyle Photographers

Few people’s lives look the same every season. Some seasons are filled with vacations. Others are full of holiday celebrations and time with family. Other seasons include weddings, births, graduations and all the many special occasions of life.

A lifestyle photographer applies precision techniques to properly capture each of these seasons. By focusing on lifestyle seasons, the photographer must continuously adjust to the current occasion. With expert skill, they can capture these moments for a lifetime and beyond.

With the proper skill set, an advertising photographer can alternate among these roles to offer what each season requires. 

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Shooting in Summer

Summer shoots bring unique concerns but also offer unique opportunities. Three important concepts to keep in mind for shooting in summer are heat, lighting and colors. 

  • Heat – Summer is a hot season in more ways than one, especially for Miami fashion photographers. When temperatures approach 100 degrees Fahrenheit, advertising photographers must plan for harsh heat during their shoots. Models must be kept comfortable and hydrated during shoots. Photographers must plan ahead of time to make the best use of the summer sun. Wasted time standing in the baking sunlight is not profitable for anyone. 

Photographers must also properly care for their equipment. For Miami fashion photographers, heat can be hard on certain pieces, so the photographer must know what equipment to use in the heat and how to properly store it during and between uses. 

  • Lighting –  To the amateur photographer, bright sunlight often sounds like the opportune setting for a shoot. However, for professional advertising photographers, summer means challenging lighting. Bright light can be difficult to manage. Blue skies can be hard to capture appropriately. 

The harsh light of summer requires technical skill to properly utilize it for an image. The advertising photographer must be familiar with a variety of filters and other techniques to harness the sunlight while avoiding its harshness. 

  • Colors – Summer typically means bright, primary colors. Seasonal advertising photographers incorporate appropriate summer colors to create the best images for the summer season. It’s important to achieve an appealing balance of warm and cool colors. Warm colors bring the heat of the season to the image, while cool colors offer relief from blazing temperatures. The best combinations result in images that perfectly depict the summer season.

We were able to successfully integrate these summer themes in a recent Miami fashion photographer shoot. Capturing the season’s latest trends, Mark achieved a stylish, edgy mood for his stills. Collaborating with outstanding stylists and models, he “brought to life the watercolors of the season.” We chose an industrial backdrop to create a unique setting, then incorporated the fashion trends of the season. 

Featuring bright colors, precision lighting and a perfect balance of warm and cool tones, the final results are a stunning example of what can be accomplished by a seasonal advertising photographer in summer.

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Shooting in Spring

Advertising photographers are acutely aware of the challenges of the spring season. Topping this list are precipitation, an unpredictable climate and the need for a studio instead of an exterior setting:

  • Rain – Spring is the rainiest season for many regions. How can a seasonal advertising photographer work with the rain? For spring shoots, it might be appropriate to incorporate the rain into the scene. However, this must be done safely and without ruining the shot. Equipment considerations are important as well as the safety and comfort of the photographer’s subjects.
  • Fluctuating weather – This season offers an unpredictable climate, with fluctuating temperatures, alternating cloudy and clear skies and wet to dry days. In spring, seasonal advertising photographers must work with these changes to successfully execute a shoot. Back-up plans are often necessary, and quick-thinking and problem-solving skills are essential. 
  • Studio shoots – In the spring, a studio might be needed for seasonal advertising photography. Rainouts can be costly, causing delays in production. To meet deadlines and keep everyone on schedule, the photographer must offer appropriate solutions. He must be ready to meet the challenges of spring.

With this in mind, seasonal advertising photographers must prepare for the weather and expect the unexpected. A studio may offer a more appropriate setting than the outdoors. Exterior shoots must be planned carefully. Outside scenes may need to incorporate spring weather. A shoot that uses rain to the photographer’s advantage may be the best bet for spring.

Commercial photographers in Nashville must be particularly prepared for spring. The weather is often comfortable and appealing, but photographers must be flexible with rainy conditions. The Mark DeLong team recently enjoyed a perfect setting for fashion photography in Nashville. 

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Shooting in Fall

Fall typically signifies a drop in temperature, color changes in nature, new transitions for school children, new seasons for television celebrities and new fashion trends. Different parts of the country offer varying degrees of changes in each of these categories. 

Some regions offer very distinctive conditions in the fall season. Others have very short fall seasons or none at all. Two contrasting locations for fall are Los Angeles, CA and Nashville, TN:

  • Fall in Los Angeles – For those shooting in Los Angeles, they will experience few fall colors or leaf changes. In this region, photographers should watch for Santa Ana winds and summer temperatures until late November. A Los Angeles lifestyle photographer may need to find a different location for a natural fall setting that offers traditional fall coloring, lighting and activities. 
  • Fall in Nashville – Nashville offers a scene that contrasts sharply with Los Angeles. Nashville provides a picturesque setting for the fall with quintessential seasonal colors. Once could easily argue that this city is prettiest in the fall, with beautiful foliage in oranges and reds. Fall in Nashville also offers low humidity, creating comfortable settings for shoots. 

For a recent fall shoot, Mark DeLong decided to use the California weather and lighting to his advantage. Not every fall shoot must incorporate midwestern trees and pumpkin patches filled with orange hues. We stuck to the sands and Santa Anas to create something “epic for 7 Diamonds in New Port Beach.”

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Shooting in Winter

Depending on the shoot setting, winter can offer particularly harsh conditions for seasonal advertising photography. Winter in New York is one of these settings. 

During the winter months, New Yorkers can expect to see temperatures hovering around freezing, but they often dip well below that as well. New York City experiences a milder climate than some other parts of the state, but urbanites still experience below-freezing temps. Snowfall is also common. 

A skilled photographer can adapt to these conditions and use them to his advantage. For winter shoots in this region, New York entertainment photographers typically face five challenges:

  • Snow – This type of precipitation poses challenges that vary from rain. It can be easier to operate equipment in the snow as far as immediate moisture damage is concerned. However, proper shutter speeds and lighting must be maintained to effectively capture falling snow. A certain skill set is needed to effectively manage the interaction between snow and the subject of the photo. 
  • Cold – A drop in temperature can create hazardous conditions for equipment — condensation is a concern. Often, colder temperatures are accompanied by fewer hours of daylight and sharp angular sunlight during much of the day. A seasonal advertising photographer must try to use this seasonal lighting to their advantage.
  • Snow blindness – If shooting outside in the winter, a seasonal advertising photographer must be mindful of the light from the snow. Few lighting conditions match this setting. The snow is extremely brilliant in the sunlight, creating unique challenges with glare and flare. 
  • Models – New York fashion photographers must be mindful of their models’ comfort in the winter. Unless painful expressions are the intent of the shoot, it’s important to ensure they are warm enough to maintain composure. This can be particularly challenging if the photographer wants to feature models who are not dressed for winter. 
  • Indoor shoots – Due to the seasonal cold or snow, fashion photographers in New York may need to move their shoots indoors. In this case, they must use creative elements to incorporate the season into their work rather than the natural outdoor setting. 

Our team recently completed a winter shoot in New York for Macy’s featuring Nyle DiMarco. The perfect studio space shielded our team from the harsh winter and complemented the fresh, patterned styles within each look we wanted to capture.

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Meeting Seasonal Challenges as an Advertising Photographer

For experienced seasonal advertising photographers, the calendar year offers opportunities rather than opposition. The changes in the seasons are embraced for their beauty and naturally changing settings. 

Mark DeLong falls into this category of photographers. He offers the ability to create custom seasonal photography for brands based on individual client needs and visions. By catering to clients in this way, Mark DeLong Photography successfully delivers iconic images that are timeless, identifiable and stand out in the marketplace.

With studios in Nashville, Miami, Los Angeles and New York, Mark DeLong Photography offers experience and opportunity in every season. These locations allow for local shoots in these high-traffic markets. Mark DeLong Photography also works with clients on-location all across the U.S. and globally. 

As a seasonal advertising photographer, fashion photographer, commercial photographer (and much more!), Mark DeLong is personally involved in every aspect of each shoot. He makes each photograph personal by working on it from pre-production through to the final creative re-touching and compositing of the still image or edit of the video project.  

For more information on Mark DeLong Photography and what our team can offer yours in every season, view the Mark DeLong Photography portfolio or contact us today.