7 Great Tips & Ideas for Summer Photography

Summer Photography Tips

5 Tips for Better Summer Photos

With summer quickly approaching, here are some tips to help you make the most of your time shooting in the warm, summer months!

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1. Timing

Do not shoot in the middle of the day.  In general, you should really try to avoid midday shooting because direct overhead sunlight is the harshest of the lighting options.

During the summer, it is even more important to avoid shooting in the middle of the day.  Not only is the harsh overhead light undesirable for most photoshoots, in many parts of the country the mid-day heat can make shooting for you and your subject almost unbearable. Try to shoot early in the morning or in the evening when it's cooler.  That way you and your client won’t be sweaty and miserable.

Summer Photography

2. Action Shots!

Summer is the perfect time to photograph PEOPLE AT PLAY!  Whether it be swimming, hiking, grilling out, or watching fireworks, summertime should present plenty of opportunities for fun and candid photos.

With plentiful summer light, you should be able to freeze motion using a high shutter speed.  Set your shutter speed to 1/500 or higher and then adjust your other settings accordingly (for more information, read this post on how to adjust shutter speed in manual mode).  To test your photography skills, try capturing a jumping shot.

Summer season photography

3. Color

Summer is the perfect time to introduce lots of color into your photos.  Many places you visit will have blooming flowers, trees, and colorful landscaping, so it shouldn't take too much effort to include all this lush color in your shots.

Not only are the trees and flowers blooming and leafy (and the sky bluer!), but people also tend to wear brighter and more colorful clothes.  Go ahead and encourage clients to wear bright, solid colors to their photoshoot and play up their colorful wardrobe in your editing!

Or, if you prefer your subjects to wear more subtle colors, have them focus on classic whites, beiges and pastels and then find a bright, colorful wall or natural landscape to use as a backdrop.

Summer season images

4. Location

Summer vacations can provide fun and out-of-the-ordinary opportunities to play with the landscape.  Whether you visit the beach, the mountains, Disneyland, or all of the above, seeing new sights can help you come up with new and exciting ways to take photos.

My favorite vacation photos are ones that include people with scenic locations or icons in the background.  Plan ahead, and make sure to visit these locations during the hours of optimal lighting (early morning or evening).  Look for creative ways to capture family and friends while enjoying your vacation together.

Summer photographers

5. Dealing With Harsh Light

No matter how hard you try to avoid it, during the summer months you will probably end up having to shoot in harsh light.  While this isn't ideal, you can make the most of it by having your subject look into their shadow (or almost into their shadow) so their face is evenly lit.  Then, use your camera to expose for your subjects face. 

An easy way to do this is to fill your frame with your subject's face, set an accurate exposure for your shot, THEN backup and frame the shot the way you want it without adjusting the exposure you set.

By following the above tip, your subject will be nicely exposed (background will be slightly overexposed) and they won't have to squint as much as they would if they were facing into the bright sun.  You will also avoid the the harsh highlights on their face and dark raccoon-like circles under their eyes

If the background is an important part of your shot, you can slightly underexpose your subject to keep the background better exposed and then brighten the images slightly in Lightroom during post-processing. 

beautiful summer photography

6. Take Care of Your Camera

If you are shooting outside in the heat, and then quickly move your camera indoors to the air conditioning, you run the risk of creating condensation inside your camera. 

You can avoid this by taking a gradual approach.  Put your camera in a location that has an "in-between-temperature", like a garage or a sunroom, for a short time before you bring it all the way into a fully air conditioned area.

best summer photos

(Edited with Clean Bright Color from the Clean and Colorful Collection)

7. Editing Your Summer Photos

Because color is such a wonderful part of summer, one of my favorite preset collections to edit summer photos with is the Clean and Colorful Millennium Preset Collection!  I find that these presets add the perfect boost to clarity and color to compliment the wonderful colors of summer. 

This preset collection can also be used in Lightroom Mobile so you can also edit your summer vacation pics while you are on the go!

best summer images

(Edited with Crystal Springs from the Clean and Colorful Collection)

Summer is a wonderful time to get out and photograph.  Whether you are on vacation, with family, or just enjoying this beautiful season, make time to capture all the fun going on around you! 

Do you have any questions or comments about Summer Photogoraphy?  Just leave us a comment below - we would LOVE to hear from you!  And PLEASE SHARE this post using the social sharing buttons (we really appreciate it)! 

Clean & Colorful Lightroom Presets