When someone asks us what we loved about childhood, our wise old selves usually say something like, “It was awesome not having to pay bills” or “I was blissfully unaware that donuts had so many calories.” However, when we really sit back and think about what makes us smile about those days, there’s one thing I would bet comes to mind for most of us:

Summer.

Hot afternoons by the pool, cool nights staying up past bedtime, ice cream cones, bike riding, no school…the list goes on (and so do the memories). That setting—that feeling—is the perfect backdrop for a family portrait session.

But let’s be real: it’s hot outside. Don’t let it stop you from capturing the magic of summer in your family photos! All it takes is a little care when planning your session. Here’s help:

Wear Light Fabrics (and Skin is In!)

You want to look polished, but you can create those polished looks with light, breezy fabrics. It’s totally fine to wear shorts and tank tops or sundresses. You’ll be comfortable and you’ll still look great!

kids-running-on-the-beach-at-their-family-portraits

Pro-tip: if you can, choose clothing items that won’t show sweat. Just in case. Test it at home by sprinkling a few drops of water on it.

Bring a Change of Clothes

It’s a bit unlikely that you’ll be able to dress an entire family from head to toe in clothes that don’t look like they’re wet when they’re wet, unless you want everyone wearing black for a fun summer photo shoot. (Not recommended.) In that case, it wouldn’t hurt to bring a change of clothes, just in case. If you’re not planning on a multi-outfit shoot, bring a couple of items that could easily be swapped for what you’re wearing. Again: just in case.

Use Bug Spray and Sunscreen

Summer gets a lot less magical if you go home with a sunburn or a bunch of bug bites. Depending on the location and time of day, we might not have to worry much about either of those things. Throw the bottles in your bag anyway.

little-girl-laying-on-the-sand-at-the-beach

Complete the Outfit with Your Shoes

Choose something summery and comfortable like sandals or flip flops. Your kids might be most comfortable in sneakers. Depending on the location of our session, you might even like to go barefoot! (Still, have those shoes in tow for getting around. I can’t carry everybody, not with this camera.)

Think Props and Accessories

What’s summer for you? Big hats and sunglasses? Sunscreen and ice cream cones? Beach balls and balloons? Props can give you a focal point that gets the whole family laughing and having fun together. If you’re trying to steal each other’s hats or lick an ice cream cone before it melts, you’re relaxed in front of the camera; each photo will reveal you as you really are: happy, fun-loving, and totally connected as a family.

Summer is made for fun and families, and summertime photo sessions are anything but stiff and stuffy. It’s all about play, so let’s go the beach, picnic at the park, or have a backyard barbecue and capture all the moments of your family being your family, in all their goofy glory. The photos from summer family portrait sessions never disappoint.

summer-family-portrait-at-the-beach

Not only will you have beautiful photos to enjoy for years to come, you’re also creating new summer memories. One day, when someone asks your (grown) children about their favorite part of childhood, they’ll say, “It was awesome not having to pay bills.” Then they’ll think for a moment, smile, and say, “Summer. And that time we took our family photos.”

There’s still a little summer left—and a little time to book your summer family portrait session! I’m looking forward to working with you. Click here to get a quote for your session!