How to spice it up inside when Boulder gets too hot

An excuse to hold your own fashion shoot

By Tatyana Sharpton Jun 12 2020

Last week we wrote about what to do when it’s hot — play outside, obviously! Still, Boulder’s summer months can begin to boil us.

With three months at home with Covid-19 under our belts, many Boulderites will brave the heat to get out, but will also need to crawl back to something cool at home.

Fun photo shoots are one I’ve been enjoying — great with a friend or family member. Here’s what I’ve learned to make it successful.

Remember being 7? Grab a bag full of colorful clothing, jewelry and materials. Dump it on the floor and start mix and matching. Throw on whatever suits your spirit and go.

Photo shoots aren’t just for models and photographers or collaborative Instagram creatives trying to up their grid game. More people should access this empowering and fun form of play and do it just for *gasp* fun. Even if you’ve never done a photo shoot and think you don’t have the creativity, trust me, you can do it.

1. Grab your beautiful friend that you want to adorn with nice things

Tania Cardenas and Alejandra Ruiz. Image: Tatyana Sharpton.

Not everyone is going to be down for your creative antics but you have to convince them. Tell them they absolutely radiate sunshine and you need to steal their soul on camera and have it forever in a box.

Or just beg them to play till you wear them down, basically. Even if its “not their thing,” they’ll have so much fun they’ll be thanking you.

2. A wall + a little blusher

Kidding, you can wear however much or little makeup you want for whatever look you’d like to have.

In this exercise, unless you have a specific look or scene in mind, just go with what you feel in the moment — spontaneously. And truly, you have no excuse if you have an open white wall in your home.

A functional process; behind the scenes. Image: Tatyana Sharpton.
Have your friend stand in front of the wall and test your lighting. Model: Tania Cardenas. Image: Tatyana Sharpton.

3. Get weird

The best part about quarantine and doing your thing inside your house is…nobody cares! Be weird, get into it. Embrace the essence of absolute nonsense. Move your body in shapes you don’t normally make.

It may take a little bit to get rolling but trust me, when you do it’ll feel like finally unbuttoning those jeans after Thanksgiving dinner.

Sometimes it’s hard to loosen up on command. Get your friend in a silly mood by saying really strange things interlaced with direction. Trust me, they’ll laugh. Model: Tania Cardenas. Images: Tatyana Sharpton.
Embracing new shapes, feeling new powers. Models: Tania Cardenas and Alejandra Ruiz. Image: Tatyana Sharpton.

4. Use what you have

It doesn’t take a lot to have fun, as we know — just an adventurous spirit, an open heart and a maybe a little bit of elvish mischief up your sleeve. Two house-hold items that can up your game and create cool effects to your photos are a mirror and incense (compliments of one of our models, Alejandra.)

There’s really no wrong way to use them; just play!

Incense can create a stream of smoke to play in. Alejandra Ruiz. Image: Tatyana Sharpton.
Multiple mirrors let you play with an even larger variety of angles, facets and reflections for your composition. Image: Tatyana Sharpton.

5. Take it to the porch

If your indoor space doesn’t provide you with much inspiration, try taking it to your back porch or stairwell. Look for things in your vicinity with interesting lines or angles.

The metal staircase at this location worked well because it had enough shade for a cooler vibe, but also an interesting texture to its metal grating which allowed sun to come through.

Sometimes sunny spots can look blown out (overexposed) and splotchy (like if you’ve ever tried taking a photo under a tree in broad daylight), but sometimes you find something just right.

Alejandra finds some stairs to play on. Image: Tatyana Sharpton.
Try different makeup concepts + locations to spark new ideas. Alejandra Ruiz and Tania Cardenas on left. Tania Cardenas on right. Images: Tatyana Sharpton.

And since we do live in beautiful Boulder and it doesn’t hurt to get outside, check our “My Boulder Adventure” series for ideas on outdoor places to shoot.

But honestly, just have fun. If this article inspired you to hold your own photo shoot, submit your photos to us at for a chance to be featured!