Here at Loteli HQ we know a thing or two about taking pictures with pool floats. From high winds to freezing temps, we've been there and floated that.
Read on for our top DOs and DON'Ts before you start snapping - you'll thank us later!
1. Pick your location carefully
Shooting in a calm pool is easiest as you have a contained, sand-free environment. However, shooting in the sea will give you a more exciting, dramatic shot, depending on the waves. Match the location to the color of your float. If you're somewhere with crystal clear water, a clear float can show it off. If the water is darker or green, a bright float will add a pop of color and provide contrast.
2. Pick the right time of day
We don't recommend shooting at night. It's too difficult to get the exposure right and there is usually more wind. Shooting at midday can be difficult because the sun directly overhead will cast harsh shadows. The exception for this is if you are talking drone shots, where the direct overhead sun is exactly what you need.
The best time of day for taking photos on a pool float is at dusk! The sun is low, the light is warm and everyone looks amazing - that's why they call it the golden hour!
3. Get on their level
Crouch down and get on the same level as your model to make their legs and body appear longer and leaner.
4. Add a filter
Think of your Instagram as a portfolio rather than a collection of individual images. Having a filter you use regularly can help you to 'match' your images to the same aesthetic and overall vibe. As a general guide, stronger colors and deeper contrasts give more energy to a shot, while faded filters add a relaxed and calm feeling.
5. Edit your images strategically
We love a natural look, but there are certain little adjustments you can make that will make your images look more professional.
First, edit out any distractions such as the float nozzle, leaves and other objects.
Give your images a bright, summery feel by adding a warm tone and lightly removing shadows. Increase the saturation slightly to counter the effects of the sun (it can wash out the model). Tone down the whites to have better visibility on backgrounds that may be washed out. Finally, be sure the horizon is horizontal (not crooked).
1. Take all your photos in square mode
When shooting on an iPhone it can be tempting to take in square mode so that it matches the Instagram frame. However, you will have more to work with when you are editing if you take your shots in horizontal or vertical.
2. Let outside objects spoil your shot
The pool float and model should be the focus, so make sure your background is free from objects like pool ladders, drains and other people. Also do a quick sweep of the pool to make sure the water is free from leaves.
3. Use a deflated float
It might sound obvious, but be sure your float is completely inflated before your shoot. It will look better in photos and will be easier for your model to pose on.
4. Shoot in high wind
Floats move around quickly, so if you're shooting in a windy environment you'll be stopping after every shot to reposition the float (trust us!). A calm, still environment is way easier.
This was a quick roundup of our top tips and tricks for taking photos with a pool float. If you have any we've missed we'd love to hear them!