Photo by Monica Carlson

The summer months offer up countless opportunities to infuse your lifestyle sessions — with clients or your own brood — with color, whimsy and pure joy. To help get your creative juices flowing, we’re offering up our best summer photo session ideas for at home, out and about, or wherever your adventures take you. Because, haven’t you been waiting all winter for sublime light and late bedtimes?

Cheers to late golden hours! Here are 100 summer photo session ideas to keep you busy on those long, sunny days.

Backyard photo session ideas

Conceptualizing a memorable backyard photo session doesn’t need to be complicated. Simply hand kids a fun prop or direct them to an interesting spot and let the magic happen. Summer is for getting creative! Here are some fun photo props (and photo ops) to try:

  • Sidewalk chalk
  • Wading pool
  • Croquet
  • Bubbles
  • Bikes
  • Swings
  • Hose & sprinker
  • Mud pies
  • Dog wash
  • Kite
  • Snow cones
  • Sandbox
  • Treehouse
  • Backyard campout
  • Princess wands or pirate swords
  • Hammock
  • Hopscotch
  • Colorful fruit
  • Donuts
  • Badminton
  • Spray & squirt toys
  • Twister game
  • Hula hoop
  • Skateboards
  • Water balloons
  • Flags
  • Slip-n-slide
  • Vintage soda bottles
  • Butterfly wings
  • S’mores
  • Beach balls
  • Fireflies
  • Backyard fort
  • Bubble gum
  • Icy treats
  • Jump rope
  • Roller skates
  • Hopscotch
  • Car wash
  • Trampoline
  • Giant unicorn sprinkler
  • Lemonade stand
  • Umbrella
  • Flower crown
  • Tea party

Extra Credit: Try some wish lanterns at dusk — dreamy!

You might also like: 12 Clever backlighting techniques for more creative photos

summertime photo ideas

Photo by Jessie Nelson


The summer months offer up countless opportunities to infuse your lifestyle sessions — with clients or your own brood — with color, whimsy and pure joy. To help you plow this rich loam, we’re planting a few ideas, from the sublimely simple to the ridiculously complex. (Bonus: These’ll keep the kids occupied for a minute, too.)

Photo by Amy Lucy Lockheart




Boy with flamingo pool floatie and a pout

Photo by Kellie Bieser




Fun field trips for great photo ops:

Arrange to meet your client for a day of local adventure for the ultimate summer family photo session. Or, pack up your own kiddos and head out on the road for a welcome change of pace. Bonus points if you can plan your outings around golden hour! Here are a few fun places to try for out-and-about summer photo sessions:

  • Museum
  • Cabin
  • Zoo
  • Aquarium
  • Ice cream shop
  • Library
  • Water park
  • Kids’ sports
  • Road trips
  • Grandma’s house
  • Plane rides
  • Playground
  • Mall
  • Boating trip
  • County fair
  • Lake with a dock
  • Historic landmark
  • Go-karting
  • Stable
  • Campground
  • Food truck
  • Small town Main Street
  • Under the stars
  • Picnic
  • Target run
  • State park

Extra Credit: Plan a special summer photo session idea by booking a unique Airbnb for a one-night shoot.

You might also like: How to enjoy traveling with your kids and camera


camping under the stars

Photo by Julia Crim


Girl picking strawberries

Photo by Susan Grimes


The summer months offer up countless opportunities to infuse your lifestyle sessions — with clients or your own brood — with color, whimsy and pure joy. To help you plow this rich loam, we’re planting a few ideas, from the sublimely simple to the ridiculously complex. (Bonus: These’ll keep the kids occupied for a minute, too.)

Photo by Kate Luber





The summer months offer up countless opportunities to infuse your lifestyle sessions — with clients or your own brood — with color, whimsy and pure joy. To help you plow this rich loam, we’re planting a few ideas, from the sublimely simple to the ridiculously complex. (Bonus: These’ll keep the kids occupied for a minute, too.)

Photo by Julia Crim


The summer months offer up countless opportunities to infuse your lifestyle sessions — with clients or your own brood — with color, whimsy and pure joy. To help you plow this rich loam, we’re planting a few ideas, from the sublimely simple to the ridiculously complex. (Bonus: These’ll keep the kids occupied for a minute, too.)

Photo by Marian Diop

16 More summer photo session ideas for creative mamas:

  • Rainy days indoors
  • Storms
  • Summer reading
  • Critters (worms, frogs…)
  • The front porch
  • Skinned knees
  • Tan lines
  • Views from above
  • Pets
  • Nap time or sleeping in
  • Dirty feet
  • Pool parties
  • Morning pancakes
  • Lazy pajama days
  • Video games
  • Boredom

Bonus: When you’re out with your own kiddos, don’t forget to leave your big camera at home sometimes. You can create great, artistic photos with your phone and stay present in the moment.

A version of this article first appeared in the July/August 2017 print issue of Click Magazine and was posted on the Click blog in July of 2017. Order print or digital single issues from the Click & Company Store. Or better yet, get a 1-year subscription so you never miss an issue!

This story was updated on June 20, 2019.