8 safety tips for taking photos in fields

  • curly haired girl in wildflower field photo by Eliz Alex Photography

If you’re like me, and love to shoot outdoors in pretty nature spots, there are a few tips to bear in mind to keep you and your clients (especially all the sweet little children you’ll be photographing) safe.

8 safety tips for taking photos in fields by Eliz Alex Photography

1. Find a good safe location.

curly haired girl in wildflower field photo by Eliz Alex Photography

When looking for a good spot to shoot, I always try to find a nearby community park, nature park, or public preserve.  Do a Google Earth search of your town and see what public parks pop up in green, then go check them out.

2. What to look for with parking.

lavender field picture by Eliz Alex Photography

At each park,  I look for a sweet little spot to shoot in, as well as ample parking spaces.  It’s also preferable if the park has restrooms, playgrounds and lots of room for the little ones to run and play in a safe area.

Often some pretty fields may be in a remote area just off the side of the road.  At these spots, I check to be sure  the parking area is big enough for at least two vehicles with a safe distance between my parked car and other cars traveling on the road.  If you plan for a client, especially one with young children to meet you there, be sure it is possible for them, especially with young children, to depart the vehicle and enter the field safely. Also be sure it’s public property or that you have the owner’s permission to shoot on their property.

3. Get those boots out!

bobcat pic by Eliz Alex Photography

You never know what critters might live in a field, so I always wear tall boots.  Here in Texas there are a lot of poisonous snakes, fire ant hills, chiggers and other critters.   When entering the field, I take the child’s hand to lead the group, and ask the little ones and their parents to follow my footprints.  As I walk I stomp the ground – to scare off critters, and keep my eyes down to watch out for ant hills – and direct clients to avoid them.

4. Keep those bugs away!

sisters in a yellow flower field photo by Eliz Alex Photography

Remember those chiggers I mentioned –  bug spray can help.  While any bug spray can be helpful,  the most success comes from using a bug spray with DEET.   Spray before you leave your home, and may sure to shower well after the shoot.

5. Just in case, have a First Aid Kit accessible.

In our family we have two little boys, so there is always a First Aid Kit in the back of my car.  You never know when a client’s child may fall and it’s great to be able to handle minor injuries in the field without having to cancel the photo shoot.  A minor first aid incident is a time when a park with a restroom and water could be helpful.

6. Keep your camera equipment close.

Recently I switched to a backpack style camera bag.  I find with the movement of the children I am photographing, and the sun setting across the field,  I am constantly moving about the field.   With my equipment on my back, I am hands free and always know another lens, battery, or card is easily within reach.  As well, I know where my equipment is and that there’s no chance of it being damaged or stolen from the field.

7. Keep Hydrated.

All the running about makes me especially thirsty.  Be sure to bring a water for yourself for after the shoot.  Recommend it to your clients too especially for a long shoot and/or in a remote location.

8. Last thing, before you go…

silhouette of girl dancing by Eliz Alex Photography

Be sure to tell your husband, family, and/or close friend the address of where will be shooting and the time frame you expect to be there.  Go the old route and write the directions down on paper as you may not get cell reception in some field locations.

And be sure to put your car keys in a zippered pocket before you head out to the field.

Happy shooting.

About the Author:

Little people call her Camera Girl. Elizabeth’s little people, two boys call her Mommy. She calls on her Canon, enthusiasm for the outdoors, creativity as a former toy-maker, excitement for discovery, and addiction to Starbucks coffee to guide the littles and their families on photographic adventures. Elizabeth’s love of nature and volunteer work at a local land conservancy keep her connected to the land and always seeking new settings where she can capture the natural light, the beauty of the local fauna, and the candid and magical moments of the families she guides.

19 Comments

  1. Kaili Herr Sep 19 2014 at 12:49 pm - Reply

    thank you for this!! I shoot in fields often (also from Texas!) and I always make my husband go ahead first to make sure it is safe lol, but I love these tips!!

    • elizabeth Sep 22 2014 at 10:23 am - Reply

      Thank you Kalli, so glad you enjoy my tips from Texas!! 🙂

  2. elizabeth Sep 19 2014 at 3:00 pm - Reply

    Thanks so much to Clickin Moms for making my words come to life right here on this fabulous forum!

  3. Kristy Sep 19 2014 at 4:08 pm - Reply

    Great Tips!

  4. Emmie McGrew Sep 19 2014 at 6:15 pm - Reply

    I love the practicality of all the tips you mentioned here. Thanks and Thank You for sharing your many great work for inspiration!

    • elizabeth Sep 22 2014 at 10:24 am - Reply

      Wonderful to read your comments Emmie – so sweet!

  5. Oksana Andersen Sep 19 2014 at 6:38 pm - Reply

    Great article, thank you for sharing such a helpful tips. I need to invest in a backpack for my gear as well :o)

    • elizabeth Sep 22 2014 at 10:24 am - Reply

      Oksana – thanks for taking the time to comment. It means so much to me!

  6. Barrett Klein Sep 19 2014 at 10:19 pm - Reply

    Great article and your work is beautiful! Great job!

  7. Elicia Sep 20 2014 at 6:01 pm - Reply

    How wonderful to see you on the blog, Elizabeth! I miss you and those cute boys! Loved reading your tips and seeing your beautiful fields. 🙂

    • elizabeth Sep 22 2014 at 10:26 am - Reply

      OH thank you Elicia! It means so much to see my words up here on CM! I miss our LB meet ups and fun kid times. I can’t wait to see pics of your newest!

  8. sally Sep 21 2014 at 9:39 am - Reply

    excellent tips, thanks!!! <3

  9. Sharon Sep 21 2014 at 2:41 pm - Reply

    Good tips. We have to watch for bears so making lots of noise is a must 🙂

    • elizabeth Sep 22 2014 at 10:27 am - Reply

      Yes I remember that when I spent a month in Alaska – are you in Alaska?

  10. Katherine L Oct 02 2014 at 10:44 am - Reply

    Great safety tips! Thanks for the reminder. Here in Arizona rattlers, fire ants and killer bees are the biggest problems, but creepy people lurking around are always something to be aware of.

  11. Trucly Apr 23 2015 at 1:39 am - Reply

    I was always concerned about the rattle snakes and poisonous spiders! But recently I learned another lesson. I had just completed a shoot at a lake and by the time the sun was setting, there was a TON of mosquitos! It was my first time there and since it was 2 hours away I didn’t get the chance to scout the place first. I read about it but no one mentioned a mosquitos infestation! I came home with over 40 + bites on my arms. I wish I read this article 2 weeks ago! I’m keeping your article handy as a great safety reminder in the future. 🙂

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