Check out these stunning summer family photoshoot ideas and get the perfect inspiration for outfits and locations!
Summer family photos are a yearly tradition for many households.
And depending on your season of life, they might be something you look forward to. Or, they could be something you dread.
Either way, there’s usually a lot of prep work that goes into it.
You’ll need to find the perfect professional photographer, the best location, coordinate schedules, and of course, choose the perfect outfit for you and your family.
For many, this is the hardest part.
If that sounds like you, we’re here to help!
We’ve put together a list of 10 stunning summer family photoshoot ideas that are easy to recreate.
We also share the best summer locations for your pictures, tips for posing, and tips for helping little ones through the process.
Whether you plan to use your photos for holiday cards or want to add a new photo to your gallery wall, you’re sure to find the perfect inspiration for your family.
Pick the Perfect Color Combos
Before we share our favorite summer family photoshoot ideas, here are a few things to consider when picking outfits for a family photoshoot.
Think about the time of year, the location of your photoshoot, and who will be included in the photos.
During the summer months, you can choose from a much wider variety of options. From warm colors, neutral colors, and pastels to floral patterns and bright tropical pieces, summer really encompasses it all.
There are only a few colors we’d shy away from, which include red, emerald green, silver, gold, and certain shades of orange that make you think of Halloween.
Some of the best colors for summer include shades of coral, teal, blue, white, khaki, green, and yellow.
Whatever color scheme or color palette you choose, there are a few rules of thumb to follow for a cohesive look:
- It’s okay to use different colors as long as they’re complementary. If you’re not familiar with complementary colors, a color wheel is a great tool to have. These make it easy to pick colors that look great together in photos.
- Avoid outfits with too many patterns. These can create busy photos that take the focus away from you and your family’s beautiful faces. And they can be hard to match or even clash. Try incorporating one to two different patterns along with coordinating solid colors.
- Keep accessories to a minimum and make sure shoes and belts are a similar color.
Easy Summer Family Photoshoot Outfit Ideas
Here are some of our favorite summer family photo outfits and color schemes that you can easily recreate.
Each of these summer family photoshoot ideas is perfect for the season and they’ll create beautiful, lasting memories.
1. Earth Tones
Earth-tone outfits provide a natural and harmonious aesthetic that beautifully reflects the warmth and beauty of the outdoors.
They encompass a range of colors inspired by nature, such as warm browns, soft greens, rich oranges, and muted yellows.
Whether it’s a green shirt and khakis next to a rustic brown dress, or, a hazy yellow blouse paired with an off-white skirt, you can’t go wrong with inspiration from nature.
2. Denim and Neutrals
For us, denim goes well beyond traditional blue jeans.
For summer family photos, consider chambray shirts, denim dresses, overalls, and tunics.
Pairing these denim staples with neutral-colored tops or bottoms, such as whites, creams, and tans, will allow your outfits to effortlessly blend in with the summer surroundings and exude timeless casual elegance.
3. Airy Neutrals
Airy neutral outfits are the perfect choice to create a light and breezy look that captures the essence of the season.
Opting for neutral tones such as soft whites, beige, and light grays creates a serene and elegant appeal.
Airy fabrics, such as linen or cotton, will also add a touch of texture and movement to your summer-themed family photos.
Whether you’re posing against a sandy beach, in a blooming field, or under the shade of a tree, these neutral outfits will work in perfect harmony with your surroundings.
4. Summer Florals
Incorporating floral patterns into your outfits adds a touch of whimsy and natural beauty to your photographs.
Whether you opt for large, bold blooms or delicate, dainty flowers, these patterns bring a playful and feminine charm to your ensemble.
Consider choosing coordinating colors within the floral prints to create a cohesive look for the entire family.
Floral patterns are also a great excuse to buy mommy and me dresses. It’s always so sweet to see a mom match with her little girl.
5. Color Pop
Don’t be afraid to embrace the vibrant colors of summer in your family photos. Colors like oranges, corals, pinks, yellows, and teal.
However, we suggest adding a pop of one or two of your favorite bright colors along with more neutral options so your photos aren’t color saturated.
Choose one or two outfits to focus on your pop of color and keep the other outfits more muted but in a similar palette.
You can also incorporate patterns that feature your color pop.
6. Shades of a Color
Using different shades of the same color makes it super easy to coordinate the whole family without worrying about a perfect match.
Try a mix of navy blue with light blues. Or, various shades of peach and coral.
Consider grounding your looks with a single shade of white or khaki for pants and shorts.
7. Beachy Neutrals
Beachy neutrals offer the perfect color palette for a summer family photo session by the shore.
Focus on soft whites, sandy beiges, sea greens, and muted blues that evoke a sense of serenity and tranquility.
8. Crisp Whites and Khakis
White outfits are a classic look for family photos. And we love the pairing of white with khaki.
For your summer photos, you can have the men and boys dressed in a white shirt with khaki pants.
And women and girls can wear a combination of white dresses or a white shirt with a khaki skirt. Or, even a khaki dress.
Don’t be afraid to mix long skirts and dresses with short versions and longer pants and shorts for the men.
Pastels aren’t just for spring!
Pastel-colored outfits offer a soft and dreamy aesthetic and match hazy summer vibes.
We love the muted pinks and blues in the photo, above.
And summer is also the perfect season for mint, pale yellows, and creamy oranges.
Rust-colored outfits offer a rich and warm aesthetic that beautifully complements the season.
Choosing rust-colored outfits for your family evokes a sense of energy and adventure.
Whether you’re exploring a sun-kissed beach, wandering through a golden meadow, or enjoying a picnic set against lush greenery, the rust tones will add depth and visual interest to your summer family photos.
Fun Photoshoot Locations
Now that we’ve shared our favorite family outfits for a summer photoshoot, here’s some inspiration for location.
Take advantage of the warmer weather and plan your family portraits in a beautiful outdoor location like:
- The beach
- A boardwalk
- A dock by the lake
- Hiking trails
- An open meadow or field
- A rustic barn
- A white fence
- The mountains
- A park or garden
- A pond
- Sitting on a log or fallen trees
- Sand dunes
- The desert (with cacti)
- Boulders or a rock formation
- Under a pier
You can Google your location and find hotspots for photos around your community. Or, ask your photographer for suggestions.
If you don’t want to stray far from home, you can even take your summer family photos in your backyard or on the front porch or steps.
Choose a spot with great lighting and a nice backdrop, and you’re good to go!
Just make sure the location you choose is a good setting compared to your outfit choices.
Tips to Capture the Perfect Pictures
This post wouldn’t be complete without some quick tips to help you capture the perfect pictures.
Family sessions can be difficult with young children, so here are some tips to keep little ones happy and photo-ready:
- If possible, plan around their schedule. (i.e. Avoid naptime and meal times.)
- That said, make sure you bring snacks and treats in case they get hungry or need some motivation.
- Keep a positive upbeat attitude. If you’re in a good mood, it will be easier for them to stay in a good mood. Or, it will at least not make a bad mood worse!
- Consider bringing their favorite stuffed animal or comfort item to help them stay content between takes.
- Choose a photographer that’s experienced with kids so they can help you navigate the process.
- Consider bringing a change of clothes for them in case they have an accident.
- Incorporate candid shots so your child has the freedom to move around and interact with family members.
Arrangements and poses
We love taking a variety of shots for our family photoshoots. Try a mix of different poses and family groupings.
Start with the whole family together, then break off into mommy-daughter shots, father-son, and vice versa.
Get shots of just the kids together.
And of course, get some shots with just mom and dad.
If you have grandparents and extended family, consider taking photos with just the grandparents and their grandchildren, mom and dad with their siblings and siblings-in-law, and a shot with just the cousins.
Here are some fun poses to try for your summer family photoshoot:
- Standing – Consider leaning on each other, wrapping arms around waists, resting heads on shoulders or sides, or having small children wrap arms around mom or dad’s legs.
- Seated – Try to create a strong shape like a triangle or use varied head heights for movement and visual interest. You can also have some family members laying on a lap or leaning against a shoulder.
- A pile – Get playful and lay on the ground for an overhead or ground shot. Have littles pile on top of mom and dad, tickle, hug, etc.
- Looking back – Take shots with your bodies facing away from the camera with faces turned towards the camera.
- Piggyback – Stand with some or all of your children on piggyback
- Play – Hold hands and dance, jump, run, etc.
Other ideas and tips:
- Avoid empty spaces when taking non-candid photos.
- Avoid everyone looking straight at the camera.
- Don’t pose with your hands by your sides! Interact with each other and create diagonal lines by embracing or holding hands.
- Take advantage of the “golden hour” (The last hour before sunset and the first hour after sunrise). The faded sunlight creates stunning, glowing photos.
You can capture beautiful family photos with perfectly matched colors, but you can also capture stunning photos using complementary colors (colors that pair well together), and color variations and patterns.
The key is to create balance.
Here are some color combination examples:
– Shades of a color: Using different shades of the same color makes it super easy to coordinate the whole family without worrying about a perfect match. Consider grounding your looks with a single shade of white or khaki for pants and shorts.
– Color Pop: Add a pop of one or two of your favorite complementary colors along with more neutral options.
Choose one or two outfits to focus on your pop of color and keep the other outfits more muted but in a similar palette.
– Colors and Patterns: Pick a fun pattern or print for a few outfits. Then dress others in coordinating colors within the pattern to create a cohesive look.
There aren’t specific colors not to wear for family photos. But, there are some rules you can follow to make sure the colors you choose go well together, match the season, and match the location of your photoshoot.
1. Choose colors that are complementary according to color theory and avoid non-complementary colors.
2. Choose seasonally appropriate color schemes:
– For winter, focus on reds, greens, darker colors, and more formal looks.
– Spring is all about a more casual look, bright colors, pastels, and florals.
– During the summer months, choose from a variety of warm colors, neutral colors, pastels, floral patterns, and bright tropical pieces.
– And for fall, oranges, reds, and neutrals are in style.
3. Make sure your colors work well with the setting of your photoshoot. For example, use earth tones for a mountain setting, and beachy blues and greens for a photoshoot by the ocean.
Here’s what to wear for family pictures for the other seasons:
- In winter, you can focus on reds, greens, darker colors, and more formal looks.
- Spring is all about a more casual look, bright colors, pastels, and florals.
- And for fall, oranges, reds, and neutrals are in style.
And if you liked these tips for summer family pictures, be sure to check out:
- 23 Unique Monthly Photo Ideas
- What to Wear to Disneyland (for Moms and Kids!)
- DIY Yarn Wall Hanging Photo Display
What did you think of these summer family photoshoot ideas? Are there any poses or outfit ideas you think we should add? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!