Being a photographer in Florida can be tough, especially in the summer! With the high temperatures, relentless sun, bloodthirsty mosquitos, and often unpredictable weather, it is a wonder how we stay sane when photographing in the outdoors. Of course, the Sunshine State makes up for it with its gorgeous locations. From rural landscapes and seascapes to urban cities, there are plenty of situations where you'll have to manage the elements during your photoshoot. Here are some essential products that every Florida photographer should consider bringing along to prepare for their photo sessions, whether you focus on landscapes, portraits, events, or something entirely different!
Florida summers are notorious for unpredictable thunderstorms! Many Floridians always keep an umbrella in their car just in case, but as a photographer, you should always have an umbrella on hand for photoshoot days as a courtesy for your clients. That way, their session doesn't have to end if it starts raining halfway through! Clear umbrellas like this Miles Kimball Clear Dome Umbrella are very popular because the available light still reaches your clients' faces, unlike with a solid color umbrella. Wedding photographers love these umbrellas, because if it does rain, the couple can still go outside for romantic couples photos without getting completely soaked!
If you are living in Florida you should be slathering on that sunscreen DAILY. It is especially important to wear sunscreen during photoshoots, as you could be out for hours at a time in direct sunlight. Not only is the compounded exposure to UV rays detrimental to our skin, but we can potentially suffer from the poor ingredients in certain sunscreens, too. So, if you are health conscious and environmentally conscious, consider trying out a mineral sunscreen instead of a chemical sunscreen. This Babo Botanicals Daily Sheer Facial Sunscreen SPF 40 is fragrance-free, hypoallergenic, cruelty free, reef-friendly, and made with active plant ingredients for moisturizing and premature aging prevention.
Remember those bloodthirsty mosquitos I mentioned? Floridians know that is not an exaggeration. Those bugs will eat you and your clients alive! It is a great idea to bring a bottle of insect repellent with you to all sessions to combat any mosquitos swarming about. To be considerate of clients who may have an aversion to product toxicity, check out a more natural spray such as Meow Meow Tweet Insect Repellent! Opt for the bug sprays that mist for quick and easy application to the skin, hair, and clothing.
Polarizing Lens Filter
If you photograph landscapes, a polarizing lens filter is a must-have tool! Similarly to polarized sunglasses, a polarized lens filter enhances the whole scene. Blue skies become bluer, clouds become more contrasted, and reflections are elimated off water surfaces. Florida is full of lakes, rivers, and springs (and right on the ocean), so this will be very handy! An example of this type of filter is the Tiffen Circular Polarizing Filter, but there are many options out there depending on your budget. Just be sure to check the thread size of your lens before purchasing.
Waterproof Case or Rain Cover
One of the best ways to protect your gear from the elements is a waterproof case or camera rain jacket. The DiCAPac Waterproof Case is the best of both worlds. It is sealed like a hard waterproof case, but flexible like a camera rain jacket. It is more like a waterproof bag, is made out of a durable material, and has a finger sleeve for easy access of button controls. It even comes with a neck strap! Not only will it protect your camera and lens from the rain, but it will also keep them safe if it is accidentally (or purposefully) submerged in water.
Have you ever arrived home after a portrait session, uploaded your photos to begin editing, and noticed copious amount of sweat beads all over your client’s face? Everyone sweats, but this can be such a hassle to retouch. Save yourself the time and frustration by bringing blotting paper to your outdoor portrait sessions. It’s great to be prepared and fix the problem on location and in-camera rather than in post-production. If you notice sweat forming on the face, kindly ask your client if they would mind using a piece of the blotting paper. More than likely they will appreciate it immensely, because they want to look their best in the photos that they are investing in! Fenty Invisimatte Blotting Paper is an awesome option, because you can choose the exact amount of paper to tear off, thereby preventing unnecessary waste. It is also refillable!
SPF Lip Balm
In addition to regular sunscreen for the face and body, a protective lip balm with SPF is also a great idea. If you like to wear makeup while on photoshoots, you could even choose one with a little bit of color, like this Babo Botanicals Lip Tint Conditioner SPF 15!
How many times have you ran into the problem of your camera lenses fogging up on a particularly hot or humid day? This is usually because your gear is transitioning too quickly from a cool, air-conditioned environment (like your car) to a hot and muggy one. To prevent this, some photographers leave their camera bag in the trunk on the way to a photoshoot, or turn off the a/c and roll the windows down a few minutes before arriving to the session location. Another secret is to keep Silica Gel Desiccant Packets with your gear to help soak up that extra moisture when you walk outside with your camera bag!
Neutral Density Lens Filter
A neutral density (ND) lens filter is possibly even more useful for the Florida photographer than a polarizing filter. These filters provide extra stops of light control, so you can photograph in extreme brightness without sacrificing your preferred depth of field by narrowing your aperture. Or, you can take longer exposures for intentionally blurring subjects. Special ND filters like the Tiffen Variable Neutral Density Filter have rotating rings to choose the degree of neutral density, which eliminates the need to purchase multiple ND filters of varying stops of light control.