We are just days away from the school year ending and our summer break officially starting. This means the kids and I will be spending a lot more time together and I plan for us to do a lot. I mean a lot this summer! Since we have summer bucket list to start checking off, I’m gonna need some photos to document it!

You don’t have to be on your own summer bucket list challenge to get in on the photo fun. There are opportunities everywhere: in your backyard, at the beach, on the playground, at a party. Like I said, everywhere!

Here are my four must-take pictures of the summer!

must-take pictures this summer

1. Toes in the Sand – If you are lucky enough to get to the beach this summer, snap away! My favorite picture to take? Toes in the sand. Get the whole family involved! I love looking back on these, especially those little toes in the sand.


I also like to get little details like sea gulls, waves crashing and shells.


2. Bubbles – I love catching my oldest blowing bubbles. The faces are priceless: the frustration, the determination, the thrill!

must take pictures of summer

You don’t have to limit these pictures to just blowing bubbles. Catch your kids doing all kinds of summer time things: running through the sprinkler, playing baseball, napping on the beach!

101 things to do with kids this summer-4

3. The Food – Oh how I love summer foods: corn on the cob, burgers and dogs, watermelon! My mouth is watering just thinking about it. I love photographing food and summer food is one of my favorites.

kraft singles

4. The sunrise – Only on vacation am I okay with being awake for a sunrise, especially if I am at the beach. Plus, if you are on vacation, a nap is in order later.


One of the challenges with taking pictures in the summer is all that sunlight! But it’s ok, you can do it. Just be careful and adjust your settings. When shooting in direct sunlight, your photographs can be blown out with heavy contrasts and lens flare, which isn’t always a bad thing. But there are some things that you can do to help avoid those problems.

Find shade if you can! Go behind a building or under a tree. OR Make shade if you can’t. Sometimes I’ll have a parent stand next to me to provide more shade when photographing a child.

Use a reflector. Reflectors are those aluminum foil looking circles you see photographer’s assistants standing off to the side holding. Don’t have one? Make your own with a piece of white poster board!

Keep your ISO low
. Ask yourself “Is the Sun Out? (ISO)” If the answer is yes, you want to set your ISO low (100 or 200 max).

Shoot with a small aperture. You don’t need to have your shutter wide open when shooting in bright light. Remember, the smaller the aperture, the less light that is let in when taking your picture. Start off at about f/6 and tweak your way. 

Avoid mid-day sun…if you can. 
The best time of day to take photographs is early morning and early evening. It can be difficult to photograph in the mid-day sun since it’s high in the sky and beating down directly on your subject.

Need more tips? Head on over to learn even more about shooting in mid-day sun! Use these tips all summer long and a bright sunny day won’t scare you away from taking pictures any more!

Tips for Taking Pictures in Mid-Day Sun

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