20+ Summer Picture Ideas for a Perfect Photoshoot

The days are longer, the months are warmer, and you’ve begun planning beach days and road trips. The telltale signs of summer have arrived, and you want to make sure to capture as many fun-filled moments as you can while they last. But if you feel like you’ve fallen into a rut of taking the same old photos or you’ve run out of ideas for a new summer family photo to feature on your wall art: a few new summer picture ideas can’t hurt. And we’re here to help. Check out our summer photo ideas below and use them to create a stylish summer photoshoot all your own. Whether it’s the entire family or just a sibling photo, you’re sure to capture the perfect summer moment.

Jump to:

How to Take Cute Summer Pictures

If you’re trying out a new camera or simply trying to find some new and interesting angles for your Instagram, it always helps to refresh yourself with a few techniques. Try out the steps below for how to take cute summer pictures or if you’re specifically working off of your phone, try our resource on how to take good pictures with your phone.

Hand shaped heart against a beautiful sunset.

  1. Plan Your Outfits. If you’re looking to take a summer inspired photo shoot with friends or loved ones, make sure to plan and coordinate your outfits in advance.
  2. Find the Right Photo Equipment. Are you happy with your smartphone to photograph your day trip or are you looking to use a dedicated DSLR? Or maybe you want to try out a new Polaroid Camera.
  3. Pick Your Subjects. Maybe you got a new puppy. Maybe your longtime best friend is back in town. Or maybe you want an updated family photo. Whoever your photo subject is, do your best to structure your photo shoot around that subject.
  4. Tell a Story. Try to tell a story with your photograph by using resources like lighting, the background, emotion, color, and other objects within the frame. A coffee cup may seem like a mundane subject, but by including a notebook, natural lighting, and a coffee shop table centerpiece, you can convey your morning’s story in a single photo.
  5. Plan Around the Light. Try to stick to the golden hours when planning your photo shoot and avoid the hours of and around high noon, where light is the most harsh.
  6. Take Plenty of Photos. Don’t be afraid to take dozens, or even hundreds, of photos. You never know which will be your best picture.
  7. Don’t Be Afraid to Get Candid. Take pictures even when your subjects aren’t paying attention. You may photograph some of the best genuine emotion of the day.
  8. Take Your Camera Off Automatic. Practice with the manual settings of your camera, that’s where you’ll take your best photos.
  9. Have Fun With It. Enjoy the photoshoot! Emotion and positive energy shows through best when everyone is enjoying their day.

Summer Photo Ideas

Looking for some general fun or beautiful summer photo ideas? Looking for that perfect picture you can turn into a canvas print to pair with your home decor?

Experiment with Light

golden hour light photography for summer picture ideas

Fun techniques to try out include experimenting with shadows, having a photoshoot during the golden hour, or even trying a few filters.

Experiment with the Micro and Macro

With all the little bugs and critters that come out in the warmer months, take the opportunity to photograph the smallest living things in your world.

Rustic and Chic

Utilize plenty of rustic decor like wood accents and metal centerpieces with chic decorative touches for a photoshoot that feels as otherworldly as it looks.

Find a Nice View

Hot air balloon above high mountain at sunset

Whether it’s at the top of your favorite hike, inside of a hot air balloon, or at the balcony of your favorite hotel, summer photos with views look stunning.

Play with Color

Whether it’s trying out new filters or experimenting with bright pops of color in your photoshoot outfits, bright colors are a great way to celebrate the summer.

Learn Night Photography

With clear skies and warm nights, now is the perfect time to learn a little night photography. Photograph your favorite constellations or a full moon and show off your new skills to friends and family by printing your photos on a collage poster.

Explore Nature

Hiking alone in the mountains

Go on a hike or visit a park you’ve never been to before and photograph all the things that interest you or that you find visually appealing.

Summer Pictures To Take With Friends

The best summers are often spent on adventures with friends, and taking photos is a great way to preserve those memories. Check out the inspirational ideas below or visit our resource on best friend picture ideas for a few new ways to capture those memories.

Go on a Spontaneous Adventure

woman looking at the view from train window

In the mood for a spontaneous road trip with your best friends? Pick a fun destination and bring your favorite camera to documents the adventure.

Go to the Beach

Beach trips with friends are one of the most common ways to spend summer vacation. Turn yours into a fun photoshoot by bringing your favorite beach activities and a camera.

Create a Boho Style Photoshoot

Bring plenty of vintage props, blankets, pillows, and unconventional lighting for bohemian style photoshoot. And don’t forget, this photoshoot makes a great addition to a summer outdoor dinner party.

Make Use of the Golden Hour

shadow and golden hour light photography for summer picture ideas

Golden hours last longer in the long summer months, making the season a perfect opportunity to take advantage of the even lighting. This is extra perfect for practicing your portrait photography.

Wildflower Photoshoot

While your favorite flowers are all in bloom, schedule you and your friends’ summer photoshoot. The colors of the flowers will perfectly highlight the joys of your summer with friends. Colorful, floral photos look their best on glossy displays like ceramic tiles or even custom iPhone cases

Lakeside Photoshoot

Back view of jumping girl on the pier.

Lakeside photos spent laughing and smiling with friends make beautiful forever keepsakes. Take yours at your favorite lake, on a dock, or even in the water itself.

Summer Family Picture Ideas

Wanting to use the summer season to take a new family photo? If so, look to our ideas below or visit our resources on what to wear for family photos and the best colors for family photos.

Go Camping

Happy family in the park evening light.

Take your family and go on a camping trip! Between the leaning of new skills like fishing and building a fire, there’s plenty of opportunity to take photos of your family bonding while distracted by outside things.

Have Fun with Outfits

Pull out those outfits in the back of your closet that you’ve always wanted to wear but never had the reason to. Throw a fun photo shoot with your family and enjoy trying on a whole host of different styles and dress up outfits.

Plan a Picnic

Pack everyone favorite food, snacks, and a picnic set up and head to the local park (or even your own backyard). Take photos as everyone enjoys the outdoor family time for pictures that will last a lifetime.

Visit an Amusement Park

Take the kids to an amusement park and photograph the whole adventure. You’ll capture the excitement as they try a ride for the first time and the moments they try all their favorite (and messy) amusement park snacks. The fun photos you’ll take will be great to share at your next family reunion

Showcase a Summer Project

Maori father helping her daughter to ride bicycle in backyard.

Has your family been working on a gardening project or redecorating the house and you want to highlight all the hard work you’ve put into it? Photograph the family with the finished project or while they’re at work for some meaningful photos.

A Day at The Beach

Family photography and beach scenes go together better than most things. Ask your photographer to join your family of at your favorite beach during the golden hour for some truly memorable photos.

Funny Summer Pictures

If you’re trying to plan the perfect photoshoot to highlight your silly adventures and preserve all the laughter filling your summer season on your family photo book, you’re sure to love the ideas listed below.

Perspective Angles

Spatial perspective on the lake Salar de Uyuni

Have fun with your photoshoot by turning it into an experiment of angles and perspective. Use a hand close to the lens to make it seem like you’re picking up your friend, or ask a friend to start extremely far away while your cat walks by the front of the lens to make the cat look larger than life.

Have Fun With Silly Faces

Try out a few new funny expressions and have fun taking endless silly photos with your friends. While these may not be the kinds of photos you want to frame, you’ll be glad you have them a few years down the line.

Take Some Polaroids

Flat lay montage of instant film photos of friends on vacation

Polaroid cameras have made a major comeback in recent years, and they have a tendency to be perfect for capturing candid, hilarious moments through all your friends’ and loved ones’ adventures in the summer.

Other Summer Photoshoot Ideas

Do you want even more specific summer picture ideas? Make sure to visit our resources on portrait photography and photography project ideas to complete your summer photo book.

Resources Related to Summer Picture Ideas

If you liked this resource on summer picture ideas, and you’re looking for more content related to summer photos, you might also find the following resources helpful. For product ideas to showcase your summer pictures, check out our easel back canvases and hanging canvas prints. And if you’re specifically looking for picture ideas for a summer party, make sure to visit our resources on summer party ideas and summer invitations.