nature, photography, travel

Summer: A Season For Work

As the Byrds and the Good Book say, there is a season for everything. Turn, turn, turn. And as much as I’ve been conditioned in modern life to believe that Summer is the season for relaxation, vacation, and beach lounging, it isn’t. It is the season for work. At least for me.


Let me explain: Summer is the season when the days grow longer, and in the north country where we go this time of year, the days are extraordinarily long. I get asked often what it is that I do all day, so I thought I’d share my typical Summer day (and almost any nature photographer’s day for that matter) when out west…

4:30 AM – Wake, dress, coffee, hit the road/ trail. Driving + hiking usually involved.

5:10 AM – Pre-dawn light reaches its time for me to begin shooting.

5:40 AM – Sunrise! Shoot, shoot, shoot.




6:45 AM – The sun is typically already too high for me to get the best images (I know, right!?) Begin scouting for sunset/ dusk.

7:00 AM – Return to the trailer for breakfast, quiet time, downloading, processing images from morning shoot.

8:00 AM – Social media. Strategy, posting, liking, perusing, repeat. Blogging, E-books, workshop strategy, website updates, returning emails, making prints, general business strategy, etc.

12:00 PM – Lunch

12:30 PM – Pack up for scouting/ hiking with the family (Ellen + Islay)


1:00 PM – Scouting new locations for commercial/ landscape shoots. Creating Outbound adventures for others to find these amazing places. And of course, hiking with Ellie and our dog!

5:00 PM – Return to the trailer for dinner prep. Social media, blogging, emails, etc. Maybe enjoy a little happy hour single malt too :)

6:30 PM – Dinner

7:15 PM – Pack up and head out on the road/ trail for the sunset/ dusk shoot. Location predetermined from the day’s previous scouting. Driving + hiking usually involved.


8:10 PM – The light begins to get good. Shoot, shoot, shoot!


8:59 PM – Actual sunset.


9:15 PM – Light finally dissipates and I must pack up.

10:00 PM – Return to the trailer. Download, edit, process images from the evening shoot to prepare for social media/ blogging/ stock for tomorrow.

11:00 PM – Go to bed. Or go shoot some night landscapes/ star pictures! Depends on the night :)

…rinse and repeat…

I typically sprinkle a day or two per week in there to rest. Especially if the weather is uncooperative, I will take an odd morning or evening off. But in general, two and a half months look like this. It is so exciting, and I wouldn’t change it, but it can be quite exhausting.

By the time Fall rolls around, I’m ready for those shorter, darker days.


Is this not so different from our recent ancestors? When we as humans were much more intimately connected with the seasons and the hours of the day, perhaps only pre-electricity, we woke and slept with the sun. If we had more daylight, we had to take advantage of that and make the most of our days… for it wouldn’t be long before the harsh bite of Winter came and made everything harder.

I live in a world of artificial light, technology, and amazing advancements (for instance the automobile! It takes me only moments to travel what would’ve taken hours before). But I am also drawn to connect to this old world reality.

Summer was meant for toil, Fall was meant for the harvest, Winter for rest, and Spring for renewal and rebirth. Back in Texas, we don’t really have seasons. We have Summer, and not-so-Summer. So maybe it’s just novelty for a Texas kid like me, but I love these distinct seasons and what they represent.


It just so happens that we are, right now, in the most exciting, productive, and exhausting time! Don’t be afraid to change your routine, and take advantage of these long and lovely days.

Cheers to the seasons. And cheers to Summer, friends!

— Andrew

Ellen and I have hit the road full-time! Help us on our mission to inspire and educate everyone on the importance of getting outside by checking out my workshops and my prints, made #ontheroad in my mobile print studio. The revenue will help propel us further and further on this great adventure. Enrich yourself and others… and feel great about it too as you’re helping to ensure our wild lands are cherished and to keep the wild spirit of the American Dream alive. Our goal is to visit all 59 National Parks in 2-4 years. LEARN MORE ABOUT WHAT WE’RE DOING HERE

Want to learn photography and enjoy a guided experience? Check out my exciting, NEW workshop dates:
If you are interested in licensing any of the images/ video from this post, please visit my stock agency:
Tandem Stills + Motion // Andrew R. Slaton
Image Brief // Andrew R. Slaton
If you are interested in purchasing prints from this post, please check my prints for sale, or email me directly for a custom request:
Andrew R. Slaton | photographer // prints
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Thanks for visiting!
all images and content © ARS Media, LLC 2016

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