Child Photography at Lake - Summer photos with Kids

Must-Have, Best Summer Photos with Kids

July 5, 2020

Child Photography at Lake - Summer photos with Kids

Summer is upon us and with that also comes life happening at warp speed as we move from one event to the next. Whether that’s summer holidays, vacations, or sporting events. Time flies fast June-August. I’m here to remind you that lots of photo-worthy moments are happening in between summer’s great adventures. Moments that are worth remembering and documenting. Read on for a few of my must-have summer photos with kids. Plus, how to do it!

Before you’re looking August in the rearview mirror and pulling out the pumpkin spice, slow down and capture the best summer images with your family.

Deer Park Family Photography

The most important image to capture with your kids this summer

Alright, I was going to save this for a dramatic finish because I think it’s SO vital, but given the chance you might not make it through the entirety of this post, I’m dropping it now.

Are you ready?

If you take nothing else from this post, hear this. Grab your child (no matter the age) and hand your phone or camera to someone else. I don’t care WHO you are (Mom, Dad, or Grandparent). Because odds are, if you’re reading this, YOU are normally the one running the camera. I’m certain there is a SERIOUS lack of non-selfie photographs of you and your children. So, stop. Please

Trust me when I say I know this is uncomfortable. I CRINGE at the thought of jumping in front of the camera. Plus, I find serious comfort in those filters that give me skin like a china doll while expertly adding on makeup that I haven’t actually worn in months. But this is important.

Take the photos today you’ll want to have tomorrow. The best summer images have YOU with your kids.

Say “Not today” to Snapchat, “No Thanks” to Instagram selfies with butterfly filters. Please, don’t hide behind a filter, friend. Go old school on me. Pass the picture-taking device off, back up 10′, and have someone snap a few photos with your kids.

Take photos with your children of the daily activities you enjoy during the summer. Take photos while making silly faces, baking cookies, or images sitting on the couch reading a favorite book. Capture you just doing life with your family. Your family and your connections are a perfect balance of chaos and love. Embrace those imperfections that make your connection.

For my son hiking to the top of Mt Spokane is our jam. And nothing says “Best Summer Photos” then a few of us at the summit hanging out.

Alright, I am stepping off my soapbox for now.

4 super easy things worth capturing this summer with your kids

Consider using a photographer. Great! I happen to know one who would love to document your family. You can read more about my sessions here. However, all of these can be easily achieved with your cell phone camera too. To prove my point, most of the photos on this post are from my phone sans an IG filter.

#1 Summertime in sprinklers, water, and hoses

Nothing says summer like running through the sprinklers in the sun. Just the other day, I looked outside, and Sully had propped on the garden hose, put on a cape, and was leaping through the “Volcano” AKA mist setting on the hose. Big things are happening in the world that may feel heavy, but seeing this caped superhero tackle a backyard volcano lightened my heart.

Photos at the lake are great but don’t under estimate the magic of a backyard water adventure. Just make sure to keep your camera a few feet away when capturing those perfect summer photos.

Ruby Beach Olympic Peninsula

# 2 Go on a nature walk and look for wildlife with your children

You don’t have to go far. Sometimes even your backyard holds its own mini-ecosystem. This handsome little guy was in our sandbox. Photograph your everyday ecosystem in your own neighborhood this summer. Some of my son’s favorite photos are of the bumble bees we watch all summer. Bumble bees, frogs and hummingbirds are some of our favorite finds right outside our door.

Frog in a truck - Summer photos to take with kids

If you’re looking to venture a bit further, look up your local Hike it Baby group. They are an awesome resource for connecting families with local hikes and providing online resources to create backyard adventures. In fact, this was how I got back outside after giving birth to my son. I think our first few summers would have liked vastly different without their encouragement and support.

Something fun that we’ve done is take the same walk a few times every week and then capture a few of our favorite things along the way. We might not see the change but looking back over three months of images it’s cool to say how nature changes in a short window.

# 3 The Imperfect, perfect portrait is a must-have summer photo with kids

What do I mean by this? Well, when you catch your child living their best summer life, stop and get a close-up.

But here is the catch. Do not, I mean DO NOT clean your child up, fix their hair, wash off the watermelon, or tell them to say “cheese.” Every smeared watermelon piece and dirt smudge tells the story of their summertime adventures. These mud-loving summers are short, friend, so capture them but don’t try and change them. Imperfect portraits make “perfect” summer photos of kids.

Summer Photo of boy and mom
Photo Tip – Make sure you’re shooting photos of children and eye level for added connection

The best summer photos happen when we capture the moments not a curated look. These natural and candid portraits will bring back the way a moment actually felt even years later. Embrace your kids exactly as they are.

#4 Give kids the control and let them create their best summer photos

The last idea I want to leave you with might sound a bit unconventional. If your child is old enough to run the camera, hand it to them and let them take a photo of something important, something they love or want to remember.

Polaroids or any instant camera is a great first step into photography. Since there is no waiting to develop film or get back to a computer, a child can almost instantly see the moments they are capturing.

Level up this game by finding a way to print out the picture they took and glue it into a summertime journal. Seeing the importance of these summer days through your children’s eyes will, without a doubt, give you a new perspective. This fun activity will also inspire your children to slow down and observe the wonder around them.

Sometimes the best summer photos of kids, aren’t of THEM, but of what kids see. What a joy to be able to see summer through their eyes.

Summer photos of kids boy holding camera

One final reminder about capturing your best summer photos with kids

One more reminder… these times ARE precious. The point of inspiring you to capture your best summer photos with your kids isn’t so you spend all summer behind a camera. What I really want to encourage you to do is slow down to observe these times. Truthfully the photos are the bonus.

What is your best summer photo with your kids? Or even better what summer photo do you cherish from when you were a kid? Please let me know in the comments below.


Spokane Photographer Dog Portrait

Life’s biggest adventures in modern photos co-crafted with you. Spokane Photographer | Serving the Pacific Northwest

Life’s biggest adventures in modern photos co-crafted with you. Spokane Photographer | Serving the Pacific Northwest

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