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Summer fun: 12 top tips for taking family photos

Summer fun: 12 top tips for taking family photos

Make it a summer to remember with these easy and inspiring ideas for taking your best-ever photos of your family.

Blue-sky days, long, lazy evenings and endless outdoor adventures: summer’s here, and with it comes a golden array of glorious photo opportunities. Whether you’re at home or away, with just the kids or the whole extended family and friends, make the most of this beautiful time of year by capturing the season’s most photo-worthy memories on your camera or phone.

Summer snaps are perfect for putting on canvas or posters, or in frames, to adorn your walls at home – they’ll brighten the space and keep the summer vibe going even in the depths of winter. And a photo book of summer memories means you can treasure those special moments for ever – your children will love to look at it in years to come. Check out all the brilliant ways you can get creative with your best photos and see get some great discounts here

Looking for some inspiration for creating your best summery snaps? Here are our expert tips for creating images to enjoy for a lifetime…

Here comes the sun

Nothing says summer like a picture of your kids having fun in the sun. While it’s great to take advantage of all that fabulous natural light, it’s best to avoid the harsh midday glare, as this can bleach out photos and make it hard to define colours. Instead, choose mornings and late afternoons for softer light. To capture light and definition in bright sunlight, make sure the sun is behind you, so it illuminates your subject. However, if you’re trying to take a portrait and the sun is glaring in your children’s faces, move into the shade for a softer light.

Try this! Experiment with angles. By changing your position in relation to the sun, you can make the lighting more interesting and dramatic – for example, by creating shadows.


Mirror, mirror…

Reflected sunlight can create a wonderful aura, so make the most of reflections in water, sunglasses, windows or any other reflective surfaces.

Try this! Make a game of hunting out interesting reflections with your family – try capturing reflections on a still pond, a puddle, or focus on how the setting sun reflects off the sea, for example.

Add pops of colour


Summer clobber can make for bright, joyful pictures, especially in images of children. Those beach umbrellas, towels, flip-flops, buckets and spades and beach balls can all add colourful interest and focal points to delightful seaside shots.

Rise early, rest late

Kids up at the crack of dawn? Make the most of it! Summer mornings often begin with a splendid splash of colour created by the amazing light, so get them outside and snap them in that first light of day. The hour before the sun goes down is also magical. There’s a reason it’s known as the ‘golden hour’ – the light is wonderful as it becomes rich and warm. And once the sun has set, keep snapping! Many people miss the lovely, soft light just after sunset, but this ‘blue hour’ is often the best time to take a photo.

Try this! Plan an outing with your children an hour or so before sunset and snap photos in the beautiful summer evening light. Watch how it changes from warm and bright to fiery to richly atmospheric as dusk sets in. Choose your best images and make a Shuffleprint to showcase your adventure.

Jump for joy

Instead of getting your kids to pose for pictures, try some action shots. Snap them jumping from a sand dune or into water (as long as it’s safe, obviously!), or capture them splashing about in a pool. It’s a great way to get movement into a family photo. Whether you’re at the local lido, a luxury hotel pool or by the sea, a splash-about offers photo opportunities that you mustn’t miss.


Scream for ice cream

Along with deck chairs and kiss-me-quick hats, ice creams are icons of the British summertime. Give your kids an ice cream and they’re guaranteed to look gleeful! But you may have to move quickly to get that perfect picture – try to get the shot before they dig in (unless you’re after a messy face photo).

Show off your silhouettes

The contrast between light and dark in silhouette photographs creates drama, and the colourful sunsets and warm evenings of summer make it the perfect time to capture these images. Long evenings when they’re allowed to stay up past bedtime are likely to be among your kids’ favourite summer memories, so be ready with your camera at the campfire or fireworks display.

Shells, bubbles and other props

Give your photos extra interest with objects that make them smile. Blow some bubbles, get them hunting for sea shells or making daisy chains – anything that will hold their attention. Your photos will look more natural if your children aren’t feeling self-conscious. Don’t distract them by asking them to pose or you might ruin the moment – just let them enjoy themselves and get snapping!


All the fun of the fair


The movement and bold colours of fairgrounds and seaside amusement parks make great backdrops for summer photos, day or night, and capture the fun of family time together.

Try this! Get shots of your kids on moving rides by getting on the ride with them and sitting in front of them, facing them and capturing their emotions as they ride.

You’ve got a friend

So many childhood memories are created when friends get together. For great group shots of your children and their friends, encourage them to crowd in closer than normal – the more you can get people connecting, the better your shot will be.

Try this! Make a game where everyone touches at least two others to bring out the smiles and giggles.


Singing in the rain

Who says you shouldn’t go out in the rain? Summer showers provide a unique opportunity for fun images of little ones in bathing suits, paired with rubber boots and bright umbrellas. Wait until they’re enthralled in something before taking your shot – tots can play for hours with a garden hose or in a puddle, giving you time to snap away.

Go underwater

Immerse yourself in summer by capturing your children jumping into a pool or catching waves in an underwater shot. The latest iPhones are waterproof, or you can invest in a tough camera or a protective waterproof case, or use a disposable waterproof camera to capture unique shots of your kids below the surface.


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