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Summer Swimsuit Photo Shoot

Updated on June 12, 2015

Summer Swimsuit Photo Shoot

CC BY 2.0
CC BY 2.0 | Source
CC BY 2.0
CC BY 2.0 | Source

Although girls in bikinis have been photographed probably more times than any subject in history and the theme itself can actually become stereotyped it really does not have be this way.

Planning a bikini or rather a swimwear shoot can turn out to be a good project which can be utilized in several ways; one is to do it to build your portfolio for potential commercial clients. The second is for individual clients who may want to have some nicely done swimwear photographs of themselves just like they may want to have their portraits taken by a professional and there is no better time to do this than during the summer months.

Either way, your goal is to pan a shoot that stands out from the stereo typical shoot. By far the best approach would be to pretend that a swimwear manufacturer hired you to shoot their products.

This way you begin to "experience" what is like to be hired for this type of work and you can approach the shoot with more of a professional attitude rather than from a personal one. They key is to think commercially and put your client's goals ahead of yours, even if pretending to at first.

First on your list should be the need to scout really nice, and if possible, out of the ordinary locations that are seldom used for a swimsuit shoot yet fit the swimwear theme.

The location should be as important as the models, even more if it is for an actual client. The ladies would probably prefer an exotic swimwear shot that much more if it happened to be done at an exotic location.

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CC BY 2.0 | Source

Now that you know that a good location is important, you also need to keep in mind that the location needs to fit the theme; the dessert, a mountain top, or amazing ruins don't really go with bikinis.

The location should feature elements that can be associated with swimwear. The beach, a river, lake, stream or a nice looking pool are all good sources of ready made locations.

Yes some are more exotic than others, but they all have a water source in common and water goes with swimwear.

What gear you need is entirely up to you. Some prefer to have many lenses at hand, yet others like to only use one or two main ones.

Because you are dealing with models, even if in exotic and remote locations, you can still move in close to or away from the model at your choosing, and since the emphasis is on the model, there is no big need of including too many elements of the location up to the point that it can distract from the main focus point, i.e model.

The best alternative is to select a couple of lenses, especially a prime lens. Prime lenses are sharper, can be opened to wider apertures than most any zoom, thus giving you far more flexibility with light control and depth of field. A flash unit plus a good reflector are also necessities and should therefore be at hand.

You do not really need an assortment of lenses since you move and can therefore make the lenses adjust for you instead of the other way around.

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CC BY 2.0 | Source

Think there is a market for this?

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CC BY 2.0 | Source

Whether for a client or a commercial enterprise, do not be afraid to take chances and be as creative as you possibly can.

This is a theme that has been photographed many, many times. If your pictures seem like more of the same, then you are really competing with thousands of others doing the same thing.

Your best bet is to make your photographs seem exciting and therefore be desired. If doing it for a private client, then their satisfaction with your work becomes your calling card and your best source of potential new leads which can in turn become a steady source of work just like a wedding photographer, your work will speak for you.

Create a portfolio that includes some swim suit photos along with other samples of your work and start submitting them to publications or manufacturers that may use them such as companies that make swim wear.

Better to start small by going local and grow from there. Try suggesting this type of shoot to clients who may want regular portraits and maybe boudoir style pictures. You can now offer yet another dimension and thus open up another revenue avenue.


© 2015 Luis E Gonzalez


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