Tropical family photo sessions - how to beat the summer heat!
Let's face it, June & July outdoor photo sessions in Hong Kong can be tough. Sweltering temperatures, humidity at 100% and kids (and some parents) who would much rather be cooling down with the A/C on full-blast. But as school is out, this can also be the best opportunity for the family to get together and outdoors, so if you have a family photography session booked for the hottest months here are some tips to get you through:
Dress down - This is really not the time to pull out that polyester fabric dress from grandma that your daughter hasn't yet worn (and that you feel guilty about!), nor is it the best opportunity to wear matching denim or shirts made out of unbreathable materials. It's much preferable that your family looks and feels comfortable throughout the photo session. This will help reduce the grumpiness factor and also allow kids the opportunity to play without getting overheated, which always makes for great candids. My number one rule for choosing what to wear is always opt for whatever makes you feel good about yourself and comfortable to move around in.
Cool down - Any activities that help us to keep cool will not only make for fun action shots but also keep everyone's spirits up. Try a popsicle break or lining up at an iconic Mister Softee, splashing in the waves at the beach or pool, a picnic in the shade with ice cold drinks or using wet towels on your forehead or neck for a quick kids pick-me-up. Sometimes just one of these are enough to keep kids happy and engaged. Portable fans and little stops in to air-conditioned buildings can also make all the difference too!
Keep it short - Although my photo sessions usually run anywhere between 1-2 hours, they often are on the shorter end during the hottest summer months. It's best to try and be as efficient as possible as young kids will often tire much more easily in the heat and become less cooperative.
Be selective with location - Though you may have some locations already in mind, the main consideration to take into account is access to shade. Not only so that everyone has some escape from the sweltering sun, but also because harsh direct light at this time of the year doesn't make for the best photos. Areas of shade will help to make the light softer and more even, as well as reducing harsh shadows and squinting. It's also important to think about travel time as even this can be more exhausting when it's 34 degrees Celsius and tire some kids out before even arriving.
If you've taken all these things into consideration then the last thing to do is just to have fun! Don't get too down about the heat or start fretting about sweating. The upside to summer sessions are the bright range of beautiful tropical colours and an authentic part of our everyday experience of living in Asia.