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  • Writer's pictureNancy Dinsmore

Tips for Gorgeous Outdoor Photos

Are you thinking about an outdoor photo session? Whether you’re a couple just starting your journey, a mom to be hoping to capture the magic of pregnancy, or a graduating senior ready to take on the world, here are some great tips for a “picture perfect” outdoor session.

Man and Pregnant Woman posing for a photo with the sun behind them
Golden Hour

1)      Timing is Key: Opt for golden hour – early morning or late afternoon, usually within an hour of sunrise or sunset, respectively – when the light is warm and soft, which creates flattering (rather than harsh) shadows and rich, vibrant colors.

2)      Scout Locations Ahead of Time: Your photographer may have some tried and true spots for outdoor photos, but remember this is your session and it should reflect who you are, so don’t be afraid to suggest something new. Choose picturesque outdoor settings with natural elements, such as parks, beaches, or forests for diverse backgrounds and dynamic composition.

3)      Dress Appropriately: Select outfits that complement both the surroundings and everyone who’s going to be photographed. Avoid busy patterns, or anything that might detract from your or the gorgeous setting you’ve chosen. BONUS: Ladies, choose something that has some flow to it – nothing says “dynamic” like fabric movement in a photo!

Man and Woman holding hands walking along a staircase
Sun Center Sweetness

4)      Accessorize Mindfully: Incorporate props & accessories that enhance the theme or mood of your session, but you don’t want things to look cluttered, so be carefully selective in your choices.

5)      Consider the Weather: Here in Florida, the weather is often hot & sticky – or in winter, breezy and surprisingly chilly – so keep an eye on the forecast and dress accordingly. If it’s summer, wear light fabrics that have some breathability. If it’s winter, dress in layers. Keeping an umbrella handy is a good idea, too. You never know when a summer storm might pop up!

Pregant woman in a black dress standing in a field
Winter Maternity

6)      Relax: Part of my job is to help you relax – which means I have to be relaxed, too. But we can also help each other out by keeping the mood light, telling silly jokes, and simply having a conversation or two throughout the session. We can incorporate your favorite music, too. And don’t forget that for most of the session you won’t be looking at me, so it will be easier to stay relaxed while you interact with each other.

7)      Focus on Each Other: These sessions are about capturing your connections, whether that’s just you two or the whole family, and that means you’ll be looking at and interacting with each other. I’ll guide you with prompts and position you around interesting elements in the scene, but ultimately it’s all about the bonds between you, your partner, and whoever else might be in these pictures. {Note: For senior photos, only about half of your photos will be traditionally posed where you’re looking at the camera, the rest will be you interacting with the environment and/or whatever props you might bring to the session.}

Man and pregnant woman standing under a live oak tree in Gainesville Florida
Gorgeous Gator Couple


In the end, we’re here to have fun and make some memories that you’ll be able to keep for a lifetime. Together, we will make magic.

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