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The Value of Outdoor School Portraits

Outdoor School Photography

Traditional school photos have one major thing in common: a generic background. While using the same unchanging, nondescript background makes it easier to usher kids through the process and collate photos after the fact, it also makes your photos forgettable and uninspired. Fortunately, there’s a simple solution to this: shooting your school portraits outdoors.

Why We Prefer Outdoor School Photography

There are plenty of reasons Freed’s professional school photographers prefer to shoot outdoors. Natural lighting tends to deliver better results than indoor lighting. One of the main reasons is that there is less equipment with outdoor shoots, so it’s less intimidating. This allows them to feel more comfortable, which then leads to more authentic and natural images.

Another reason we prefer to work outdoors is it is quieter than shooting inside. When you have kids jammed onto a stage or waiting in line in a gym, it can get loud. Since the outdoors are quieter and more relaxing for everyone. We can do our best work, and our subjects are more relaxed and can even have fun.

Additionally, shooting outdoors also gives us more appealing backgrounds to work with and more location options to choose from – including those that have special meaning to your school or students. Outdoor school photography is also the safest way to photograph right now. Being outdoors makes it easier to maintain social distancing standards to protect both students and staff.

At Freed, we want to give our clients variety, and to us, variety doesn’t just mean changing the background but keeping the same pose. Instead, it means shooting different images with different positions and expressions. Outdoor portraits allow us to have a wider variety of the students’ backgrounds, poses, and expressions. Not everyone looks great with a big smile.

What to Know About Outdoor School Photography

While the result of an outdoor school photography session is unrivaled, there are factors to consider when booking your shoot. Both the time of year and time of day are considerations. We want to avoid the sun being directly in students’ faces, long shadows, and chilly, rainy, or windy situations if possible. That said, sunny and cloudy days can create excellent photography conditions – it just depends on the outcome you desire. If rain is forecast, we will move indoors but do the same relaxed emotional images on a background.

Because outdoor settings are more natural, there may be some background interference, such as passersby, vehicles, or staff and students going about their day. We always establish a shaded, low-traffic place to shoot that looks and feels natural while minimizing interruptions or background noise. We’re also mindful of elements such as power lines or signs that might affect a photo’s quality. Ease of social distancing is also a factor when choosing a setting.

One thing to note is that while outdoor photography lets us tap into the beauty and dynamism of natural light, that light is not entirely under our control the way it would be indoors. While we use light modifiers and other lighting equipment where possible, the result won’t be as uniform as photos taken in a studio environment. But if you ask us, perfect, uniform lighting is much less important than authentic, expressive photos that show your students in their best light.

Book Your Outdoor School Photography Session with Us

To see the quality and value of outdoor school photography up close, book us for your upcoming school photo session. We’ll work with you to establish the best time of year for your photos, as well as to select an on-site location that showcases both your school and your students while allowing for easy social distancing. Call Freed today to arrange your outdoor school photography session!


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