with Courtney Slazinik
Quick Summer Photography Tips to take Brilliant Photos
Quick Summer Photography Tips to take Brilliant Photos

The kids are home from school, the sun is out, and the fun is on. Get those cameras out and make sure you are capturing all your fun summer moments. With longer days comes more light and more opportunities to try out some summer photography tips.

How to take good summer photos

Child walking on beach for summer photography tips

Summer time is full of different activities like swimming, hiking, family birthdays all things we would love to have photographed. In the midst of it all, it is important to bring your camera along.

One of the main differences is the light. But have no fear, summer light can be a great opportunity for unique photos.

Keep your camera out

The first summer photography tip I have for you is to have your camera out and accessible so you are grabbing that before you phone. I like to leave mine in a place that I walk by every day so I am reminded to use it.

Summer Photography Tip- Look for the light

3 children smiling on a beach with the sun setting in the background.

If you are outside, use the light in your favor. Golden hours in summer time are magical. Open shade will give you incredible portraits. And don’t be afraid to shoot in harsh light.

Just for you: 6 Quick tips for Shooting in Harsh Light

Shoot in manual mode

Having full control of your camera will allow you to properly expose your photos. It will also allow you to freeze motion (which is fun for summer activities like jumping in a pool.)

Getting your settings right where you like them and then start shooting and you will be so happy that your camera auto setting didn’t under or over expose or have your shutter speed too low.

Check out more on manual mode here: How to Master Manual Mode

children jumping into a pool using summer photography tips to freeze motion.

Learn to see different summer light

Like I said before, the best summer photography tip I have is to learn to see the best of summer light.

Look for open shade

When you are outside the best lighting for an evenly lit photo is in open shade.

Open shade is when direct sunlight is not on your subject but they are facing out towards the light.

You can find this under trees, awnings, the side of buildings, etc.

Plus when you shoot in open shade your subject will not be looking directly in the sun so you will not have a bunch of squinty eyes.

Here is how to Embrace the Sun

Summer Photography Tip- Try silhouettes

Often in the summer we are out late and get to see some beautiful sunsets. Take advantage of that by playing out with silhouette photography.

Put the subject in an interesting pose, properly expose, and have fun.

Here is an entire post on exactly how to shoot silhouette photography: Everything you need to know to capture and edit a stunning sunset silhouette.

Just for you: How to Take Unique Photos that WOW Using Slow Shutter Speed

Play around with golden hour

Golden hour is the first hour after sunrise and the last hour before the sun sets. This summer photography tip is easy to do almost any day of the summer.

The light is warm and beautiful and a great way to elevate your photography. Grab a subject and head outside and shoot some golden hour photos.

Here’s more: 5 Must Try Backlighting Photography Tips to Use Today

Shooting in harsh sun

During summer you don’t always have the opportunity to shoot in perfect lighting. But that shouldn’t keep you away from embracing the harsh sun and still have stunning photographs.

Make sure to use your meter and exposure properly. Watch the shadows especially on faces, and even try shooting from above in harsh light.

Just for you, here’s a post all about harsh light: 6 Quick Tips to Fully Embrace Shooting in Hard Light

Try your hand at underwater photography

Many of us are heading to the water during our summer break. I challenge you to try your hand at underwater photography. This summer photography tip can be new to many people but can create some really unique photos.

You can use a waterproof camera bag to be able to use your camera under water.

A few tips for underwater photography, make sure you have enough light (embrace the harsh sun.) Also set your settings before you go down as best as you can. Have fun taking portraits or if you are scubadiving or snorkling have fun capturing the beautiful underwater life!

Here is a little more- 6 Under water photography tips

Summer Photography Scavenger Hunt

Now that you have most of my summer photography tips, make it fun and have a scavenger hunt.

Below I made a list for you of ways you can practice your summer photography.

  1. Pool days
  2. Popsicles
  3. Golden hour
  4. Silhouette
  5. Green grass
  6. Movement
  7. Water fun
  8. Bokeh
  9. Fireflies
  10. Watermelon
  11. Freeze the action
  12. Bubbles
  13. Boat
  14. Scenic drive
  15. Rain
  16. Birthday party
  17. Flag
  18. Laughter
  19. Sun Rise or Sunset
  20. Ice Cream

Add your own and make it fun. Get a couple friends to join along. And don’t forget that printed photos are fun to look back on. After you have completed the scavenger hunt, get a book printed of your summer fun.

Orange and red popsicle with bokeh and child blurred into the background as a summer photography tip photo idea

Summer Photography Tips FAQs

How do you take photos when it’s too sunny?

Either look for open shade to photos in or make sure your adjust your settings properly. If you can’t find open shade, keep your ISO as low as possible. Your aperture around f/16, and a fast shutter speed.

What time of day should I take outdoor pictures in summer?

Shoot for golden hour for portraits. The hour right after sunrise and the hour before sunset. This will give you warm beautiful light for your photos.

What should I take pictures of in the summer?

Use light in your favor. Try out silhouette photography, underwater photography, and capture all the fun things you do.

Child in Tie dye shirt with golden sun backlighting during summer for summer photography tips

Let me know how your summer photography journey goes this summer. I can’t wait to see all your photos from the challenge.

A few more post for summer photography tips-
5 Must Try Backlighting Photography Tips to Use Today
How to Embrace Candid Photos (Your Kids Will Thank You)
A Tip for Shooting in Full Sun


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