My wife is a professional photographer and is often asked to do wedding photoshoots during the middle of summer. This is not the ideal time, but she does her best to accommodate the client. But keeping cool while working outside in extreme heat is a challenge.
She had a wedding photo shoot the other month, during summer where the temperature in the shade reached over 42 deg Celsius (108 Fahrenheit). She came home with a mild headache and slightly dehydrated. So a mild form of heat stroke.
The rest of the wedding party was having just as hard of a time. They were really struggling due to the extra layers of clothing they were wearing. The summer weather in Australia and some other parts of the world can be a real killer when you have to work or play outside.
So she gave me the task to find some unique products, that can keep her and the wedding party cool and hydrated. Especially during extremely hot weather, outdoor wedding photoshoots. So the challenge was on.
After a lot of online research and talking to other photographers, we came up with an amazing list of refreshing gear and ideas to keep you cool under the blazing sun.
This list is tailored to photographers but will be applicable to anyone working outside in extreme heat. It’s rated in no particular order apart from our favorites in the beginning.
#1 Neck Cooling Scarf Wrap, Bandana review
Now this is a cool product. (no pun intended) It’s literally a scarf filled with little gel beads that soak up water.
The chemical compound that the tiny bead is made out of is “Sodium Polyacrylate” ([-CH2-CH(COONa). They have tiny hard plastic polymer beads originally developed by the USDA in the 1960’s, to help farmers irrigate their crops more efficiently. Water soaks into the Jellybeedz and then gets released back slowly into the ground during dry periods.
They are totally safe, and are used is places like baby diapers, meat products, and gel packing.
How to use the JellyBeedz scarf.
First place the scarf in some clean fresh water. Let the scarf soak up the water for an hour. You will feel the Jellybeedz scarf swell in size.
Take out the scarf and then wrap it around your neck. The Jellybeedz will slowly over time release water which will evaporate on your neck and keep you cool.
- Keeps you cool in hot situations like, Golfing, Gardening, Jogging, sports, fishing, and working hard in the sun.
- Colorfast, non-toxic, environmentally friendly cotton. Washable
- A few different colors available. Blue, Red, Green, Orange & Black
- JellybeadZ brand cooling scarf are reusable many times.
- Dunk in Icy water, for just 5-10 minutes, to re-energize and recool
- Fantastic product to stay cool in the heat. My Favourite
#2 Hydro Flask, Double Wall Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle
There are many different types of hydro flask sports bottles on the market now. One of the original companies they have really made their name on quality and reliability.
When looking around my work site and at sporting events, the Hydro Flask was the people’s choice. Even our taxi driver in Hawaii (Kona) had one. He used it for hot coffee in the morning and cold water during the day.
- Large (Wide Mouth) opening, Double Wall Vacuum Insulated
- Keeps Hot up to 6 Hours, Keeps Cold up to 24 Hours
- BPA-Free, 18/8 Stainless Steel; Equipped with Straw Lid for your drinking pleasure
- Signature Powder Coat Finish
- Comes standard with the new Flex Cap; Compatible with Hydro Flip Lid
How the hydro flask works – The secret
Used in every Hydro Flask made, TempShield is the double-wall, vacuum-insulated technology that guards the temperature of your drink. Bring ice water with you in the morning, and we promise you’ll still have ice in the afternoon. Hectic morning getting in the way of your coffee sipping? No problem. Hydro Flask will keep it hot until you’re ready. There is also no condensation or heat transfer to the outside of the bottle, ever.
I was very skeptical of huge claims like keep ice water in your cup cool all day long. But I was able to see a Hydro flask in operation at a beach picnic the other day and I was sold.
So after purchasing the Hydro Flask Straw Lid 32 oz bottle we washed it out and put 5 ice cubes in the bottle with water for a test. 8 hours later there was still ice in the bottle and super cool water. We left the bottle outside for another 8 hours and while the ice finally melted and the water was still chilled.
The Straw lid also makes drinking and hydrating much more convenient while driving, in the office, working outside, or taking photos on the go.
#3 Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothes
Wearing white or light-colored cloths will help to repel away the sun’s rays and keep you cool at outdoor weddings. Black clothes will absorb and trap the heat in you. Cotton clothing is the best as it breaths well and will absorb away any sweat.
Don’t forget to use an antiperspirant spray. You will be getting up and close to your wedding party and looking and smelling great will be a priority. Bring an extra roll or spray can for regular applications during the day.
Bring a spare shirt or outfit, just in case you want to change during the day or just before the reception starts. If it’s a hot day over 40 deg C (100 F) you will get sweaty fast especially when working hard to get that perfect photograph.
#4 Shade, Shade, and more Shade.
If you are out in the open like a beach, jetty, or parking lot you may struggle for shade from trees and buildings. One simple solution is to use white umbrellas.
These are cheap enough to buy a whole heap. Hand them out to each member of the bridal party, they will thank you greatly.
These white wedding umbrellas won’t look out of place while you are shooting that special day. They serve 2 purposes. They can block out the sun and create shade, thus keeping yourself and the bridal party cool. They can be quickly thrown to the side while you take those bridal party photographs.
If it rains, you came prepared. Just make sure to always pack the wedding umbrellas for each wedding photography. Plus they make great props, go ahead dare to be different.
- 60″ Umbrella Span
- Auto Open
- White Color
- Wooden Style Handle
- Manufactured by Anderson Umbrellas
- Creates shade for Keeping cool while working outside
#5 Plan your wedding in the cooler months.
Don’t pick a wedding date at a peak time in summer. Try for the cooler months. But if you must pick a date in the middle of summer, plan to keep cool.
Make sure to have plenty of fluids. Get someone to be a water boy. Have an esky full of ice and bottled water or use a few of the hydro Flasks to keep the water chilled.
When transporting by cars to each location shoot, make sure to keep the cars running and the air-conditioning on full blast. This will keep the air cool in the car. The less sweaty your bride and groom are the better their experience.
Make sure you can easily transport all of your photo gear. We use a Lowepro x450 roller camera bag that makes life so easy. You don’t have to carry it on your back. Less energy output to move all that gear around. We love this bag. Does it all. Plus it carries our Hydro flask water bottle.
Try for a time later in the afternoon for photos, this then will work for a night time reception. Don’t be too concerned about lighting. It can always be filled in with reflector shades and flash lamps.
#6 Ergodyne Chill-Its 6602 Evaporative Cooling Towels
This is a high tech mini towel that has been designed to absorb water, and then chill as this water evaporates. It comes in a variety of colors to match your outfit. Simply drape around your neck and re-soak as required.
Great as a fresh face wiping towel when you start to get sweaty. It really helps to keep you cool while working outside.
- Long-lasting chilling effect. It can last for up to 4 hours on a single soak. Simply re-wet to increase the cooling duration
- Simple to use and reuse. Run under-water for about a minute, twirl in the air, and it’s cool! Drape around your neck, shoulders, and head for drip-free cooling relief as temperatures rise
- High tech, made with special absorbent and hyper-evaporation PVA material that holds more water and creates a long-lasting cooling effect. Making chill-its the most effective cooling towel on the market. LARGE SIZE: 13in x 29.5in
- Tough and Strong. Chill-its can be re-used over and over again. Let air dry (material will get stiff), re-wet until soft and it’s ready to use!
- Huge range of usage and applications. Reduces the effect of heat exhaustion and fights fatigue while working or playing in the outdoor summer heat. Evap towels can also be used to help bring down fevers, hot flashes, or night sweats.
- Simple to wash, just throw it in the washing machine. Treated with an antimicrobial to prevent mold. Wash in cold water with mild detergent and air dry.
We use it as a cooling face towel, and sometimes just leave it draped over our necks. The kids use it when playing tennis. One of the best cheap products to stay cool in the heat.
#7 NewAir AF-520B Oscillating Outdoor Misting Fan, 18-Inch
Now if you have access to a garden hose then a heavy-duty misting fan is perfect for those back yard weddings. Just like the misting outlets at theme parks, this misting fan can cool down a huge 500 sq feet area.
For dry hot weather these misters are perfect. If it’s very humid, the fan misters cooling effect don’t work as well. But that’s just a function of the weather, not a problem of the fan. Evaporative air-conditioners have the same issue with not cooling as well when the weather is humid. See our post on how to service your evaporative air-conditioner.
- Durable construction to weather outdoor elements
- 3 convenient fan speeds
- Extended misting to 500 sq. ft.
- Oscillates for widespread cooling
- Push-button controls are user-friendly
- Tilting head and adjustable height allows for targeted misting
- Durable outdoor design
Misting Tip cleaning
After a lot of use, you may need to clean the misting tips. This is due to the fine-scale and particles getting trapped in the nozzle. It’s best to either poke out the small holes with a small pin and clean them with a scale cleaning liquid solution.
We use an inline calcium filter for our misting fan, as it prolongs the nozzle life by preventing solid particles from clogging the fine nozzles.
It automatically filters out fine particles as small as 5 microns, this is smaller than a human hair. Additionally, the filter will coat the smaller particles with poly-phosphates, that enable easier passage through nozzles without forming blockages. It’s best to replace your filter once a year as this will prolong the life of your misting nozzles.
#8 Wear a wide brim hat and plenty of sunscreen
This is your premium shade for your head. But it may get in the way of your camera. If it does just remove it each time you take some photos. When moving don’t forget your hat.
Sunscreen is a must in the full sun. This stops you from turning into a red lobster for the wedding reception. It also helps to help prevent skin cancer. Anything with a 30+ sunblock rating will be fine.
Keeping Cool While Working Outside Conclusion
So there it is, 8 Summer Wedding tips to keep the Photographer cool. We have implemented them all. But talk to your Bride and Groom, they may not be aware of the logistics that go into a summer wedding. These are all great products to stay cool in the heat.
Safety in extreme heat must be our first priority. Sunstroke and heat exhaustion is a real problem, and many people struggle to stay cool in the summer hot weather.
Hopefully these products and ideas will help you to stay cool in the heat.