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Tips and Tricks for the perfect summertime photo shoot!

Tips and Tricks for the perfect summertime photo shoot!


Summer is fast approaching Printlife Family! As the weather gets warmer, you may be looking to get that perfect snapshot of the family this summer. Now don’t worry, just because you may not consider yourself a photographer, that does not mean you cannot capture something special and print worthy. Sometimes the best photos are taken when we are not even trying! However, if you want to freshen up your photos around the house and are looking to take them to the next level, we have you covered with some tips and tricks on how to have a successful family photo shoot this summer!  

Let's talk lighting!  

We all know that lighting can have quite the impact on your photo’s so it will be important to consider when shooting this summer! Summer days are long and bright and shadows can be harsh- when this is the case try shooting in black and white. These conditions are ideal for high contrast portrait sessions and bold black and white photos. 

If you want to use that special summer sun to your advantage, we recommend playing with sun flairs! Shoot into the sun or rather have sun peekaboos coming from behind your subject. It is important to note that shooting directly into the sun can be bad for you and your camera but if you play with sun peekaboos you can get some great, fun, creative photos. Put your subject in front of the sun and then move your camera slightly to the side until the sun starts to peek out the sides creating sun flares. 

Now conversely if you are looking to beat that harsh mid-day summer sun look for shade. Shade softens the light and can make for beautiful soft portraits. Overcast days also work well but can be harder to plan. 

What if you have your heart set on a beautiful family picture at sunset? Well, we encourage you to switch it up and try to catch the sunrise. Sunsets are beautiful but everyone is up, and good locations are typically busy. Also, by the end of the day everyone is starting to get a little tired. While they can be very early (especially in the longest days of summer), try waking up and having everyone ready for a sunrise shoot. You'll have the best locations all to yourself (or mostly), arguably better light than sunsets! Who knows, you may even bump into nature on early morning shoots which is a delight to see and gets everyone excited. Plus, at the end of it you can take everyone out for breakfast as a reward, before the masses are up! 

Let’s talk location!  

Sometimes half the battle to the perfect summer photo shoot is finding a great location! We find Instagram is a great place to discover new locations. Pick an area you haven't explored yet, and then look for the best place to shoot at that location on Instagram. Go explore somewhere new, who knows what type of ideas this will spark!  

Now if you are looking for some location ideas, we have you covered as well. This summer you could shoot at, the beach, a flower field (maybe find a Lavendar field, how pretty would that be?), your local park, during a family picnic, or even right in your own backyard! If you are looking for a fun place to shoot this summer that can double as an activity for the kids, we recommend finding a splash pad! Splash pads make for great photos, lots of great smiles, anticipation and fun. Be careful not to photograph other kids which can be avoided by getting there early. Kids also love it when you can get the parents in there! 

Let’s make sure the kids are ready!  

Shooting with young kids may seem a little daunting at times, but we know you can do it! The more organized you are beforehand the better. Remember though, be flexible and keep it fun but try to avoid too much silliness because that can quickly spiral out of control. From our experience, working with kids you have to work fast because you have a small window of time before they lose interest. If you can incorporate an interest of theirs, you'll typically get better results.  

Let’s make the most of what you have!  

If this is your first summer photo shoot, it is important to make the most of what you have! Whether that's the latest greatest mirrorless camera, your smartphone, a DSLR or even an old film camera. Make the most of what you have and focus on the moment, not the gear. If you know you can catch great moments on your phone but fumble with your camera, use your phone. At the end of the day the moments are what will matter and if you miss them fumbling with your camera it will just lead to frustration and will translate into less than great photos. Also, spend some time getting to know the gear you have before you go out for a shoot to avoid/minimize frustrating fumbles. 

Not only should you make the most of the gear you have, but you can do the same with props! Playing with seasonal props can add a lot of fun to a summer shoot. Whether that's daisies or wildflowers from a field, blow-up pool/lake toys, or bubbles, adding these elements can boost your fun and when combined with sunrise/sunsets can deliver some fantastic results. 

Lastly it is so important to experiment with everything at your disposal! Play with light, shadows, reflections, frames (natural and manmade) ect. The more fun everyone is having the better the results you'll get. Rules are great, play with them, then break them. These photos are for you, your family and your memories so just do you. 

Let's print your favourites!  

Now that you have learnt all our tips on how to make your summer photo shoot, fun, memorable, and successful, it’s time to print! Go through your camera roll and find your favourites! Whether it is Standard Photo Prints or Photo Magnet for the fridge, Metal Wall Art, or Framed Prints  or Canvas Print for the home, Printlife offers so many printing solutions to make your photos last a lifetime! 15 years down the road who knows where your photos will be if they're on a phone, camera or computer. If however, they're on your wall, in a coffee table book in your living room or on your favourite mug they'll never be too far out of reach.  


Writers – Rhys Hastings & Dania Wood