By Ana Mireles on | No Comments
SUMMER IS HERE!! And along with it comes some fantastic photo opportunities! From beach adventures to vibrant festivals, if you’re looking for inspiration to try something new this season and take your photography skills to the next level, look no further.
Here are our 16 FUN SUMMER PHOTOSHOOT IDEAS to get your camera rolling!
Whether you're jumping into a pool or enjoying a refreshing beverage, capturing the essence of a splash adds a delightful summer touch to your photographs.
To achieve stunning splash photography, it's crucial to utilize a fast shutter speed that freezes the motion of the splash, capturing every droplet, ripple, and wave in all its glory.
One of the joys of summer is the abundance of natural light, eliminating the need for a flash to freeze the splash. With ample sunlight available, you can experiment with freezing a splash using a starting shutter speed of 1/125 and fine-tune it as needed.
If manual mode is not your strong suit, don't worry! You can opt for shutter priority mode on your camera, allowing you to prioritize the shutter speed while the camera handles the remaining settings. So grab your camera, venture into the summer sun, and capture those mesmerizing splashes like a pro!
Summer is a prime season for wanderlust and exploration, drawing many travelers to embark on unforgettable journeys. If you're one of those fortunate souls who set out on an adventure this time of year, why not seize the opportunity for a beautiful photoshoot?
To create truly exhilarating photos, venture beyond the usual tourist spots. Even on a guided tour, challenge yourself to discover fresh perspectives and unique angles to capture those iconic landmarks.
Whenever possible, conduct some research beforehand. This will equip you with knowledge of the best spots, ideal timing, weather conditions, etc., ensuring you make the most of your photographic opportunities.
It's also important to treat the locals with respect. Always ask for permission before capturing their portraits or engaging in street photography, and approach them with kindness and courtesy.
If circumstances permit, consider bringing a tripod along on your journey. This invaluable tool grants you greater flexibility to deal with diverse lighting conditions, framing, and composition. It also opens up possibilities for experimenting with shutter speed.
Last but not least, try to weave a compelling narrative through your images. Instead of a collection of disjointed snapshots, endeavor to tell the story of the places you visit. This narrative approach will elevate your photos to a new level of visual storytelling and leave a lasting impression.
Color is one of the most powerful aesthetic elements you can use to create harmonic photos and communicate a specific mood.
To assist in creating harmonious color schemes, try using Adobe Color. It's completely free, and you don't even need an account to use it!
Begin by exploring the color wheel within Adobe Color and select a color that resonates with your idea of summer. From there, you can effortlessly generate a palette that harmonizes with your chosen hue.
Alternatively, you can use the Explore section of Adobe Color and enter "summer" as a keyword. Then browse the results until you find a captivating color scheme that inspires you.
Summer is a season teeming with activities, from friendly beach volleyball matches and exhilarating baseball games to the grand spectacle of the Summer Olympics that occurs every four years. With such excitement in the air, it's the perfect time to grab your camera and delve into the realm of sports photography!
To capture the dynamic action, you will need to employ a fast shutter speed that freezes the motion, ensuring every thrilling moment is preserved. Additionally, utilizing a camera with a good frame rate and activating burst mode can help you capture a series of shots in rapid succession, increasing your chances of capturing the perfect moment.
It’s also helpful if you have a good telephoto lens. While it doesn't necessarily have to be an excessively long lens, a mid-range telephoto lens is ideal. This allows you to maintain a suitable distance from the field or athletes, preventing potential disruptions to the activity or compromising the safety of those involved.
First, seek a good vantage point with minimal obstructions blocking your view. Then, settle in and commence shooting, keeping in mind that practice is the key to mastering action photography. Action shots can be complex and require ample trial and error, so embrace patience and persistence as you refine your skills.
When it comes to food photography, there are two different approaches: with or without people. Summer is no exception. So, depending on your preference, choose a style that you like.
For a captivating still-life approach, consider photographing fresh seasonal produce or dishes specific to summertime. By focusing solely on the food, you can embrace the essence of still-life photography, which traditionally excludes human subjects.
Within the realm of still life, your creative arsenal consists of colors, lighting, and composition. Experiment with these elements and let them guide you in capturing the most tantalizing and evocative food photographs.
In contrast to still life, lifestyle photography incorporates the presence of humans. This can manifest in various ways, from capturing a hand skillfully preparing food to highlighting the joy of tasting something delectable with a close-up of a mouth.
When it comes to summer-themed lifestyle food photography, the possibilities are endless. Consider the vibrant atmosphere of a backyard barbecue or the idyllic setting of a picnic in the park. This is the perfect opportunity to let your creativity inspire you!
Remember, lifestyle photography offers the opportunity to portray the human experience in connection with food. Whether it's capturing moments of preparation, indulgence, or shared enjoyment, let the spirit of summer infuse your images and bring them to life.
Thanks to the nice weather and longer daylight hours, the summer is full of events and festivals you can attend, providing an excellent opportunity to practice your documentary and event photography skills.
The availability of such events naturally varies depending on your location, but rest assured, there is bound to be something happening in your area. Alternatively, if feasible, you can consider traveling to some renowned festivals worldwide to capture their unique atmospheres.
To inspire your quest, here are a few popular festivals to consider. However, don't hesitate to delve into specific locations you've always yearned to visit or explore events that coincide with your travels:
Northern Europe boasts numerous celebrations for the summer solstice, with Norway's grand summer solstice bonfires being particularly famous.
The renowned Burning Man festival in the US draws people from around the globe, offering a fascinating subject for your photography.
For a combination of food and vibrant visuals, immerse yourself in the La Tomatina festival in Spain, where participants joyfully engage in tomato-throwing revelry. Remember to protect your camera gear during this spirited event!
Embrace the spirit of these festivals, document the captivating moments, and allow your lens to capture the essence of summer in all its vibrant glory.
Landscape photography can be challenging in the summer, but don't worry! Here are a few valuable tips to navigate these hurdles and capture stunning summer landscapes.
Harsh summer sunlight can create stark contrasts between light and shadow. To overcome this, consider using a graduated neutral density (ND) filter. This filter helps balance exposure by darkening the brighter areas of the scene, allowing you to retain details in both the highlights and shadows.
Another essential tool for summer photography is a polarizing filter. This filter helps mitigate haze and reduces intense reflections on water surfaces, resulting in clearer and more vibrant landscapes.
Optimal timing is crucial. Shoot during the golden hours of early morning or late afternoon to take advantage of softer and more flattering light. This helps avoid the harsh midday sun, which can create unflattering shadows and washed-out colors.
Stay informed about weather conditions. While summer is typically associated with sweltering heat, it is also a season prone to severe storms. Keep track of weather forecasts to ensure your safety and capitalize on unique opportunities that arise with dramatic cloud formations or post-storm atmospheres.
By implementing these tips, you'll be well-equipped to conquer the challenges of summer landscape photography and capture some breathtaking landscapes!
As I mentioned earlier, summer often brings an abundance of rain, which can be unpredictable and intense depending on your location. Embrace this weather phenomenon by combining street and rain photography, opening doors to a new perspective and unique photo opportunities.
During the summer months, seize the chance to capture the fascinating interplay between rain and urban landscapes. Seek out moments where puddles reflect the glow of street lights, children joyfully jump and splash in rain-soaked streets, or even the captivating sight of a vibrant rainbow appearing after a refreshing downpour.
If you plan to shoot in the rain, make sure to prioritize the safety of your camera gear. Consider investing in protective equipment to shield your equipment from water damage, so you can freely immerse yourself in the captivating world of rain-soaked street photography.
Let me start with the most important thing when it comes to photographing a bonfire - SAFETY. Prioritize the well-being of yourself and others and adhere to any legal regulations regarding bonfires, especially in dry areas where the risk of fire is high. Stay informed and make responsible choices when setting up a bonfire.
If permitted and safe, the beach can be an excellent location for a bonfire, and it often holds a cherished tradition during the summer, such as in California. Ensure you follow safety guidelines and guidelines set by local authorities.
Once safety considerations are in place, it's time to focus on your photographic techniques. Shooting a bonfire during the golden hour, when the sun is low on the horizon, can yield stunning results. However, if the bonfire occurs later in the evening, be prepared for high contrast between the bright flames and the rest of the scene.
In low-light situations, such as when it's dark out, embrace the inherently high contrast and use it to your advantage, creating a specific mood or composing interesting shots. Note that relying on the camera's auto mode may not yield optimal results in these conditions. Instead, consider utilizing manual or semi-automatic mode on your camera to have more control over the exposure and capture the desired effect.
By prioritizing safety and understanding the technical aspects of photographing a bonfire, you can capture the mesmerizing beauty and warm ambiance of this summertime tradition.
Lightning is another type of weather condition that is encountered quite often during the summer months. Lightning images can be pretty spectacular if you know what you're doing and how to capture them, but it's another type of photography that CAN BE DANGEROUS! So, safety first!
Whenever possible, photograph lightning from inside your house or a vehicle, providing a safe and protected vantage point. If the storm is still distant, monitor its proximity and direction of movement. Utilizing a weather radar app can provide valuable information to ensure you maintain a safe distance from lightning activity.
When preparing for the shot, utilize a tripod to maintain stability, and employ a remote shutter release or utilize the camera's timer function if a remote is unavailable.
Adjust your camera settings accordingly. Set the aperture to f/16, use ISO 100 for optimal image quality, and choose a slow shutter speed to capture the movement of the lightning bolts. A 30-second exposure is a good starting point, as it is the maximum duration available on most cameras. Capture a trial shot and adjust the exposure as needed to achieve the desired result.
Lightning photography can be challenging, so experimentation and adjustments may be necessary to capture that perfect strike. Always prioritize safety and exercise caution while attempting to capture these awe-inspiring moments of nature's power.
The summer is also the perfect time to try astrophotography. The pleasant night weather and dark skies offer optimal conditions for capturing mesmerizing meteor showers and the awe-inspiring beauty of the Milky Way, adorned with its vivid and colorful nebulae. Both are excellent subjects for astrophotography.
For best results, use a sturdy tripod and a remote shutter to minimize camera shake. Additionally, if you wish to capture star trail sequences, an intervalometer will prove invaluable.
To achieve sharp focus, switch your camera to manual focus mode and adjust it accordingly. Set your ISO to 100 to maintain optimal image quality, select a wide aperture such as f/2.8 to capture as much light as possible, and determine the appropriate shutter speed using the "500 rule" (500 divided by the focal length of your lens).
Numerous apps are available to assist you in planning your astrophotography shoots. These apps enable you to visualize the night sky at specific locations and times, aiding in determining the best composition and timing for your images. Additionally, consider using a weather monitoring app to keep track of cloud coverage and ensure clear skies for your astrophotography endeavors.
Once you've captured the perfect shots, enhance their visual impact by learning how to edit your astrophotography images in software such as Photoshop. This post-processing step allows you to refine your images' colors, contrast, and overall presentation, bringing out the full beauty of the celestial wonders you've captured.
Silhouette shots are some of the most iconic summer images. Not only do they look visually striking, but they are also relatively easy to capture.
The key to achieving a good silhouette photo lies in the placement of your subject. Position the subject between the camera and the primary light source. By doing so, the background becomes the brightest part of the scene, while the subject appears as a dark, shadowy figure, creating a compelling silhouette effect.
Since the light source is behind the subject, it's essential to expose for the background to ensure it appears well-lit—this intentional underexposure of the subject results in the desired silhouette effect.
You will need to take your camera off auto mode to achieve this type of exposure. Otherwise, it will try to compensate for the difference between the bright background and the dark subject, and in the end, none of the shots will be exposed correctly.
Instead, opt for manual mode or one of the semi-automatic modes. Measure the light from the background, adjust your exposure values accordingly, and fine-tune as needed. Once the exposure is set, frame and compose your photo to suit your artistic vision.
After capturing your silhouette shot, you can enhance it in Lightroom. With its powerful editing tools, you can refine the contrast, tones, and overall visual appeal, highlighting its distinct characteristics.
Nature is guided by the seasons, and summer brings some of the most amazing and unique opportunities for wildlife photographers.
For insect enthusiasts, dragonflies can often be found near bodies of water during daylight hours, providing captivating subjects for photography. And at dusk, fireflies make their appearance, adding a touch of enchantment to photos, particularly in fairy-themed shoots.
If your preference is to explore coastal areas and open-water destinations, why not consider photographing dolphins? Chanonry Point in Scotland is renowned for dolphin watching, attracting numerous visitors from May through September.
Summer also marks the emergence of baby turtles as they hatch and embark on their journey to the sea. Witnessing this incredible spectacle is possible in various locations worldwide.
Depending on your location or travel options, there are countless choices available. Remember to come prepared with the appropriate equipment, as the type of wildlife you photograph may require different gear.
You may be aware that summer sunlight tends to be intense, casting strong shadows. While many photographers steer clear of shooting in harsh light, this presents a unique opportunity to embrace the challenge and create some stunning shadow photography.
To achieve distinct effects, consider altering your perspective, capturing images at various times of the day, observing the movement of shadows, and experimenting with composition. These creative approaches can yield beautiful results and push the boundaries of your photography.
The summer season brings with it extended daylight hours. Take advantage, as this allows you to work with natural light for longer.
Many portrait photographers may not like this time of the year for outdoor sessions because of the strong light and intense heat. However, you can always work early in the morning and late in the afternoon to take advantage of the golden hour, when the lighting is soft and warm and the temperatures are cooler.
You can also take advantage of specific beautiful landscape locations only available during this summer season, such as blooming sunflower fields.
In cases where the sunlight remains too harsh, incorporating props like umbrellas or using light modifiers such as diffusers can help soften the light on your subjects.
If outdoor settings still don't attract you, don't worry. With the abundant sunlight outside, you can utilize any indoor location with windows and beautiful natural light for your photography endeavors.
Summer photos are light, bright, and colorful. They contain lots of action and fun. Pretty Presets & Actions has several Lightroom and Photoshop collections that fit perfectly with the vibe of summer photos.
As you can see, there are so many opportunities to practice your photography during the summer that it’s hard to choose. So go ahead and try several of these options, then edit and share your beautiful summer images.
I hope these ideas inspire you to have many new and unique photoshoots this summer!
Do you have any questions or comments for us about our Top Summer Photoshoot Ideas? Leave us a comment below - we would love to hear from you! And PLEASE SHARE our tutorial using the social sharing buttons (we really appreciate it)!
Ana Mireles is a Mexican photographer and researcher with a passion for writing and teaching. She’s collaborated in artistic and cultural projects in Mexico, Italy, and the Netherlands.