summer family photo

Capture Stunning Summer Photos: Expert Tips for Photographers

How to capture stunning summer photos. As summer approaches, photographers around the world are gearing up for a season filled with warmth, joy, and countless opportunities to create lasting memories for their clients. This blog post is designed to help you, the photographer, make the most of your summer sessions by sharing expert tips and techniques for capturing truly unforgettable images. From choosing the perfect location to utilizing Embrace Presets for that flawless finish, let’s dive in and elevate your summer photography game.

how to capture stunning summer photos

Photo by Danielle Navratil Photography

Choose the Right Location

The first step to capturing those incredible summer moments is choosing the perfect location. Consider your client’s personality and aesthetic, and opt for a spot that reflects their unique vibe. Whether it’s a sun-kissed beach, a lush park, or a vibrant cityscape, the right location can make all the difference. Remember, the backdrop should enhance your images, not distract from the subjects.

When scouting for locations, pay attention to the natural light and interesting backgrounds. Look for areas with a variety of textures, colors, and elements that can add depth and visual interest to your photos. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box – sometimes, the most unexpected spots can yield the most stunning images.

Photo by Danielle Navratil using Beholden

Golden Hour Magic

Timing is everything when it comes to summer photography. Golden hour – that magical time just before sunset – provides soft, warm lighting that can transform any image. Embrace the golden glow to add depth and richness to your photographs. Avoid midday shoots, as harsh overhead sunlight can create unflattering shadows and contrast. If you must shoot during midday, look for shade or use a reflector to soften the light.

In addition to the golden hour, the blue hour – that brief period just after sunset – can also provide a unique and enchanting atmosphere for your images. The soft, cool tones of the blue hour can add a sense of tranquility and depth to your photos, making them stand out from the typical golden hour shots.

The Best Lightroom Presets for Golden Hour(Opens in a new browser tab)

Dress to Impress

Help your clients shine by offering wardrobe guidance. For beach shoots, recommend flowing fabrics and muted colors that evoke a sense of relaxation. On the other hand, urban settings call for bold statement pieces and vibrant hues. Ultimately, your clients should feel comfortable and confident in their outfits – when they feel amazing, it will show in the photos!

When discussing wardrobe options with your clients, consider the location, weather, and the overall vibe they want to achieve. Offer suggestions and inspiration, but also encourage them to express their personal style. After all, the best photographs are the ones that truly capture the essence of the subjects.

Creative Props

Props can add depth and personality to your images, so don’t be afraid to get creative! For beach sessions, consider incorporating beach balls, parasols, or surfboards. Picnic-themed shoots come alive with a basket of fruit, a vintage picnic blanket, or a well-loved book. Just remember that props should enhance the image, not overshadow your subjects.

In addition to physical props, think about incorporating natural elements in your shots. For example, use the sand on the beach to write messages, or have your clients play with the waves or foliage in a park. These little details can add a sense of authenticity and playfulness to your photos, making them even more memorable.

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Capture Candid Moments

While posed photos have their place, candid shots can reveal the true essence of your clients. Encourage them to interact, laugh, and enjoy the moment – and be ready to capture those genuine expressions! These images often become the most cherished memories for your clients.

To capture authentic candid moments, keep your clients engaged and relaxed. Offer prompts and suggestions that encourage natural interaction, such as asking them to share a funny story or play a simple game. As a photographer, it’s essential to create a comfortable atmosphere and build trust with your clients – this will help them feel at ease and allow their true personalities to shine through.

Photo by Jasmin Jade

Experiment with Angles and Perspectives

To make your summer photos truly stand out, experiment with different angles and perspectives. Instead of sticking to traditional eye-level shots, try shooting from above or below, or capture reflections in water or mirrors. By exploring new perspectives, you can create dynamic and visually interesting images that capture your clients in a fresh, creative way.

Don’t forget to play with depth of field as well – using a shallow depth of field can help draw attention to your subjects and create a dreamy, romantic atmosphere, while a deep depth of field can add a sense of grandeur to landscape shots.

Editing with Embrace Presets

Now that you’ve captured the perfect summer memories, it’s time to enhance natural beauty with Embrace Presets. These editing tools will help provide a consistent and professional look to your images, while still preserving their authenticity.

Remember, less is more when it comes to editing. Start by adjusting brightness, contrast, and color temperature for a natural look. The Embrace Preset Collections offer a range of styles to match any summer session, so explore and find the perfect fit for your images. Avoid overusing filters or Lightroom presets that can make your photos appear generic – your goal is to enhance the unique beauty of each moment.

When editing your photos, also consider the story you want to tell. Consistency in editing style can help tie a series of images together, creating a cohesive narrative for your clients’ memories. Embrace Presets can help you achieve this consistency while still allowing you to maintain your artistic vision.


Summer photography is all about capturing the warmth, joy, and magic of the season. By choosing the right location, dressing for the occasion, experimenting with angles and perspectives, and using Embrace Presets to polish your images, you’ll create photographs that your clients will treasure for a lifetime. So, grab your camera and embrace the sun – it’s time to make some unforgettable summer memories!

Remember, the best summer photos are a result of thoughtful planning, creativity, and a genuine connection with your clients. Keep honing your skills, exploring new ideas, and pushing the boundaries of your creativity – and you’ll be well on your way to creating images that truly stand the test of time.

Helpful Editing Resources

Looking for more editing tips?

Check out my Lightroom Secrets course and more great resources below!


capture stunning summer photos


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