Enhance your portfolio with stunning outdoor shots

The pleasant warmth of sun on bare skin; the gentle breeze under azure skies; the perfumed tang of suncream mingling with faint perspiration. Yep, summer is here once again, and for millions of people this equates to new-found freedom in what is most people’s favourite season. Morale is at it highest, too, and the only disappoint is that it doesn’t last.

Not everyone instantly thinks of the perfect photography moment when summer arrives. That’s okay – we know that taking photos isn’t a priority for some. But others will be anticipating glorious sunshine to experiment with their digital cameras and iPhones, mouthwatering at the prospect of getting to grips with nature in balmy conditions. And let’s be honest – sometimes the Great British Summer is more of a letdown than continual weeks of radiance. So, make the most of it whilst it lasts.

Taking shots of serene natural landscapes and inquisitive wildlife is one of a photographer’s main pleasures. Who can blame them? Everything just seems so bright and alive that’d it be foolish to pass on the opportunity to take snaps when Mother Nature is at her most vibrant.

Models may think of outdoor shots from another perspective. Whilst they’ll appreciate the wonders of nature, they should use the great outdoors to strengthen their personal photos in their Models Direct portfolios.

Equipment isn’t the most essential part of capturing sensational outdoor shots. Mastering your camera’s settings and finding the right position / pose is far more important than the quality of your camera. Smartphones work wonders, and whilst we don’t advocate excessive filtering or deceiving viewers with too many picture-altering tools, experimenting with your camera’s settings really does make a good photo a great photo.

When taking perfect pictures, natural light is a photographer’s best friend. Late afternoon is often the best time to snap away, although there is no “best time” as climate and conditions always vary. Be wary of direct sunlight as this can create unsavoury (and unflattering) shadows. Always keep in mind that the purpose of portfolio photos is to show us and our clients your different looks, so never compromise your facial features over weather conditions. Exposure is something photographers often mention, and it just means the amount of light hitting the camera sensor, determining the overall brightness of the image. Too much exposure will result in pale, vague or hazy photos. Play around with your settings, as practice really does make perfect.  

Also bear in mind that what may seem an ideal background is sometimes anything but. It’s acceptable to pose in charming forests or on a serene beach or by a babbling brook, but clients don’t want to see “too much going on”, as this will create distractions, taking their attention away from you. Whilst a natural background can enhance your photos and what you’re wearing, keep the background imagery to a minimum.  

Click here to see our general rules about submitting initial photos when registering with us. These are tips to make sure your application is effective and what we’re looking for – like passport photos. The real fun starts when experimenting with your ePortfolio. When we recommend models to our clients, they’ll have a look at what you can offer by perusing portfolios and seeing what different looks you can bring to the assignments. Models – never go a few weeks without updating your portfolios with stunning photos. You could be doing yourself out of a range of fantastic jobs.