7 Tips for Preparing for Your Summer Family Session

You know we’re ready for a hot summer, but are you? Here are seven ways you can make sure your summer portrait session goes off without a hitch.

1. Dress appropriately.

Summer means hot and humid weather, which can lead to sticky bodies. Choose breathable, lightweight fabrics that don’t weigh you down. As for shoes, sweet flats or loafers are a great option.

2. Think about your hair.

If you or a family member’s hair reacts to humidity in a negative way, opt for a hairstyle that won’t leave you feeling insecure. For example, a pretty braid or an updo is a good choice. Or you can wear a headscarf, or use a little extra product to keep frizz at bay.

3. Pack necessities.

When packing your photo shoot necessities, we recommend bringing the following items: Lots of water for all, a snack for sustenance, sunscreen, umbrella for shade, water mister, makeup touchup.

4. Get creative with session ideas.

Summer offers a host of activities that lend themselves to amazing photo sessions. For example, there’s the fair (elephant ear, anyone?), the circus, festivals, and plenty more. I’d be more than happy to shoot a really creative session with you.

5. Think about head to toe details.

For example, if you’re wearing flip-flops or open toed shoes, you want to have manicured feet. If it’s really breezy, a hat or scarf can keep things under control.

6. Rest assured knowing I won’t let you overheat.

Sometimes it’s hard just to walk outside when it’s scorching outside, but know that we’re going to have an amazing shoot. We’ll spend lots of time in the shade, dive into the cool A/C when we can, and I will never push your family into staying longer than they can or want.

7. Incorporate props.

Outdoor summer shoots are loaded with imagery as is, but we can always incorporate a few props into the mix. Vintage step stools in a field look gorgeous, as do blankets, balloons, and even visually striking treats (lollipops, ice cream, etc.).

Now is the perfect time to schedule your family photo session!


New Gahanna Portrait Studio
Before and After

The lease on my Gahanna portrait studio space was coming due and my rent was scheduled to go up.  I liked my old studio but I felt like I was growing up both as a brand and as a photographer.  The old studio had low ceilings, a weird security gate on the front (think East L.A. drugstore at night with steel gates covering the windows) and was tucked in the back of a parking lot of another building. It didn’t scream specialty, fashionable or boutique.

It was November and my lease officially ended in December.  If I was going to move – it needed to be quick.  On my way back from a commercial portrait shoot downtown – I decided to drive around Gahanna to see what real estate was available.  I didn’t want to leave the east side because it’s close to home, close to my kids’ school and close to a lot of my current portrait clients.

I did a drive by on a couple of properties near the new golf course in Gahanna. I called my real estate agent to look at about 5 properties.  When I arrived at the door to look at 845 Claycraft, Suite K – my realtor fumbled with the keys trying to find the one the right one to open the door. Finally he gave up and said – “Sorry, I don’t seem to have the key that opens this door”.  I asked if I could give it a try. He threw the ring of probably 20 keys to me and said sure.  I grabbed a key, stuck it in the door and to my surprise – it turned.. It unlocked the door!

Now I believe in karma, kismet or whatever you want to call it – which means picking the right key out of about 20 was a sign.  The address is 845 Claycraft Road, Suite K which happens to to be oddly close to the first studio where I shared studio space, Studio K Photography – “K” another sign.

We walked through the door and I had a look around.  I knew the minute I opened the door that this space had potential.  I was visualizing everything about my dream studio. Hardwood floors through the entire space, white doors and trim, pencil lead grey walls with high school senior portraits adorning the wall.  This was to be the next phase of Robb Shirey Photography.

I came across the initial iPhone photo’s I took when walking the space and decided that we need a before & after shot.  I think the transformation is perfect.  I’ve built the studio I can be proud of and enjoy bringing people into.  If you are in the area – stop in and take a look. There are always drinks in the fridge!

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Campfire 2016 at Abercrombie & Fitch

As a Professional Photographer I receive a lot of requests to donate my time and talent for various events.  I love helping out when I can, especially if it’s for a good cause.  When I was asked if I could help photograph the annual Campfire event for Flying Horse Farms, I didn’t hesitate to say YES!

Flying Horse Farms provides magical, transformative camp experiences for children with serious illnesses. Located just outside of Mt. Gilead, Ohio, Flying Horse Farms hosts hundreds of children and families each year free of charge. The camp’s 200 wooded acres are home to 22 camp buildings, two lakes, and limitless space for exploration and fun.  It’s one of the most magical places I’ve ever visited (sorry Disney World- even more cool than the Magic Kingdom).

This year’s event was hosted at the home office of Abercrombie & Fitch and a live performance by Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros.  We had sun, snow, great drinks provided by Kindred Artisan Ales and the event raised a total of $686,255 for camp.  What a magical night for such a great cause.

If you’d like to help – Abercrombie is selling a special line of t-shirts with the proceeds benefiting the Serious Fun Network & Flying Horse Farms.  Check them out here