7 Ideas for Sizzling Summer Family Photos – The Milky Way – a photographer's resource

7 Ideas for Sizzling Summer Family Photos

With the weather turning hot and the days getting longer, more and more clients will be turning to you for summer family photos. Embrace these unique opportunities either by suggesting them as locations to you clients, or perhaps having a special mini-session.

Head to the Beach

family posing on beach for photo
Helena Goessens Photography

Nothing quite screams summer photo shoot like the beach, right! Know that, since you don’t have the cover of trees or building, your timing has to be spot-on (right before sunset), or else your photos will be too bright and washed out.

With horizons being included in most family shots at the beach, pay special attention to keeping them straight!

Capture Golden Hour

parents and three kids walking in forest at sunset
Kelsey Freeman Photography

Sure, you can get golden hour in the other 3 seasons too. But there is something to be said for summer’s predictable weather, your customers in shorts sleeves and not shivering, and being able to finish dinner before heading out for your photo session! And the warm glow you find in summer is like no other.

You may have to ask your clients to adjust the nap schedules of their little ones for that day – it’s very probably that your sunset session will start after the kids’ bedtimes!

Smell the Flowers

2 girls in a field of flowers with flower crowns
Woodard Photography

You are likely to find fields of wildflowers in early summer that make gorgeous backdrops for summer family photos. Although you may have to take turns with a bunch of other photographers with the same idea as you!

Just know that you do not need expansive flower fields to get great photos – shooting with a long zoom lens means that you really just need a small patch of flowers in front and behind your subjects to get amazing results.

Frolick in Sunflower Fields

mom holding up naked baby in sunflower field
Sunshine Photography

Speaking of flowers – if you are lucky enough to have access to a sunflower field, be sure to make that a stop for family photographs this summer. In fact, sunflower mini-sessions are very popular because of the resulting high-impact photos.

Just remember to bring your boots – it gets muddy!

Hit the town

mom hugging three kids while standing against a tree in an urban setting
Penguin Pictures

Shooting in grey, urban areas during rainy or gloomy seasons isn’t necessarily very pretty. But in summer, when the golden rays reflect off the glass of city buildings, or peek between high-rises in the afternoon sun, urban areas become a hidden gem.

Watch how you style your families – long, flowy dresses and flower headbands can look out of place in urban settings. Help your clients dress a little edgier – jeans and boots and some fashionable accessories look great against the grittier background of the city.

Follow the Family

dad hugging and laughing with daughter in nursery
Mal Jack Photography

Trips to the nursery, a day at the fair, shopping at the farmer’s market, even a swim at the lake … families are busy over summer. Offer a storytelling session will give these families the gift of summer family photos that reflect a slice of their everyday lives.

Life at home

mom swinging child around in back yard
Courtney Holmes

Many people think that summer family photos have to be outdoors in a grassy field or beach with golden backlight falling over immaculately styled families. And that lifestyle sessions at a client’s home should be reserved for the off-season.

Not so. In fact, you will revel at the increased level of light available in home during the summer. And in summer, it is only natural for the action within the house to spill into the back yard. Those memories of just rolling around the grass with their children, or jumping on a trampoline, or swinging them around until they are dizzy, will be held so very dear by the parents hiring you.

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