When summer comes around and the sun says hello, what better way to celebrate than a bikini photo shoot? Bikini photoshoots are fun to create – you can head outdoors (when is the best time to take pictures outside?), explore a sunny location, and generally have a blast. If this type of photoshoot sounds interesting, check out these bikini photoshoot tips and ideas below:
How do you start your first bikini photo shoot?
Creating a bikini photoshoot is simple. First, you need a willing bikini model. Second, you need a suitable location. Most photographers head down to the beach if possible – bikinis and beaches are a match made in heaven.
You can then explore your creative genius and test out your portrait skills. Consider speaking with the model beforehand about locations, and the type of bikini they will wear.
Bikini photo shoot tips
1. Shoot from flattering angles
Bikini photos should look elegant and flattering. The model should look amazing. To achieve this, consider which angles you shoot from. Some angles simply aren’t flattering – they can make the human body look awkward or misshapen. In most instances, the model should be stretched out to maintain smooth lines, and to sow the bikini clearly.
2. Natural light is your friend
When creating a photoshoot like this, you want to create a happy mood and emphasize the use of bikinis in warm weather. Therefore, natural light is always preferable. This means that you should check weather forecasts and try to plan your photo shoot for a sunny day with minimal cloud cover. There is no substitute in a bikini photoshoot for sunlight!
3. You don’t have to shoot at the beach!
As we mentioned above, the beach is a prime location for a bikini photoshoot. That doesn’t mean it is the only location! Be creative and look at other potential photo shoot locations. Anywhere with ample natural light could be the perfect place.
4. Consider the background composition
Whilst framing the model is the most important factor, you must consider the background too. A background can become distracting and take people’s attention away from the model. Moreover, a background can contrast too much with the model and create an unbalanced photo. When creating your compositions, always look at the background, and how it contrasts with the model.
Mastering the art of a bikini photoshoot is a great skill to have. It will improve your portrait photography. Moreover, your appreciation of natural light will improve, as will your confidence in shooting models.
You will be using natural daylight for most of your bikini photo shoot pics but you can still adjust the lighting for better and more images. A portable reflector is ideal for accomplishing this.
Inexpensive reflectors are available from various sources that fold up for easy travel and storage and many of them have two or more colors to use, either different color material on either side or some might be a frame with multiple color covers. The plain white reflector will have the least effect on color cast, while a gold reflector will add extra warmth.
You don’t want your bikini model squinting into harsh sunlight, so you move their position and pose, but now there are deep shadows that might not be flattering. Directing some reflected light into those shadow areas makes for a very pleasing image. The added warmth of a gold color reflector lends itself well to bikini photos, too, and positioning the reflector carefully might even give you a catch light in the model’s eyes.
Positioning towels, beach chairs, umbrellas, and lighting reflectors can become a bit of a chore when you’re a one person photography operation, having an assistant really eases up bikini photo shoot workflow.
A great place to find an assistant is with the models you’re using. If you have two different models on the same photo shoot, perhaps one can hold the reflector for you as you capture photos of the other model. Don’t be bossy!
Another source of photo shoot assistants is fellow photographers. Sometimes, several photographers might get together on the same photo shoot and each can help the other out, or you might barter help for your own photo shoot from a photographer friend and return the favor for them.
Whichever way you do it, keep it fun and light hearted. Bikini photo shoots should be enjoyable for all involved. If anyone in the shoot, especially the model, feels pressured or annoyed, that will show in the images.
7. What Lens To Use
Many poses in bikini photo shoots will be the full length of the model, so you want to be able to capture that easily and yet effectively. A short telephoto offers pleasing and flattering apparent perspective for people images, but if your room is limited, normal focal length lenses can also work well.
Using wide angle or even normal focal length lenses for close up images of people is generally not very flattering to the subject, so be careful of that issue.
The kit lens that comes with many digital cameras is often a very good choice since it covers from wide angle through normal and on to short telephoto. These lenses are usually very good optically, though they are limited in maximum aperture, being rather slow especially at the telephoto end.
A faster aperture zoom lens or a single focal length prime lens will give you the aperture you may want for selective focus techniques and these lenses also tend to be heavier duty construction which could be beneficial for location photo shoots.