Summer isn’t over yet which means you still have plenty of time to take some photos. Plus, the kids are home and they make excellent little subjects to work with and with the long summer days you’ll have plenty of light. This equates to a lot of great photo opportunities awaiting you. Let’s talk about how to get some great summer pictures in a few different situations.

Beach pictures

When you take pictures at the beach, there are a few things you’ll want to take into account. The first is to be very careful with your gear as sand in your camera or lens is the worst! Try and keep the same lens on your camera the whole time, this will help prevent getting sand in your camera and lenses. Make sure you keep your camera by you or hidden so other beachgoers don’t notice it sitting there when you wander down to the water.

When taking photos remember to be aware of your background. The beach can get cluttered with people, so use the water as your background instead as it will lead to a much cleaner photo. Plus, who wants random people in your photos? Keep in mind that the light at the beach can be pretty harsh. The water will cause it to be extra bright and it will reflect everywhere. Place your subjects with their backs to the light and focus on the people to get the correct exposure. Lastly, think about shooting at the beginning and the end of the beach day so you get less harsh shadows.

Swimming pictures

My first tip for swim pictures is to bring a waterproof cover or a plastic grocery sack. The last thing kids are thinking about at the pool is your non-water proof camera and whether or not they should splash around you. I recommend using a zoom lens, especially if you don’t want to take your gear in the water. The pool itself limits your mobility and ability to find the right angle. Try to convince your kids to do some tricks near the side of the pool that way you can get closer to them. It’s hard to get a good picture when someone is swimming underwater, so plan your pictures around when your kids are jumping in, floating, or sitting on the edge.

Treat the pool like you’re shooting a sports game. Raise your shutter speed to 1/500-1/1000 so you can freeze all of the action and eliminate any blur. Another trick I use when shooting moving kids is to focus on their chest. It is a bigger target to focus on and generally, their head isn’t too far away and is in focus as well.

Vacation pictures

Vacation pictures can be tricky for me as sometimes my camera makes me feel like I am working. I have to actually force myself to take out my camera and capture those memories. A lot of people feel like they should take pictures of the places and landscapes they visit, but I want to challenge you to photograph the memories you are making more than anything else. Get pictures of your family doing things, not just smiling at the camera in front of a gorgeous landscape! Try to capture the emotion or feeling of what you’re doing. Take pictures while hiking, window shopping, exploring, eating, walking, playing, relaxing and anything else you do. Try and take pictures of your family doing things they don’t get to do anywhere else.

Fireworks pictures

Firework pictures are fun and a must, every summer. Click this link to read my latest article here at Photofocus, Fast & Easy Tips for Photographing Fireworks this Fourth of July.

Lazy summer days

Lastly, I think you should photograph your summer vacation at home. The long afternoons of reading, playing, and spending time together at home are priceless as well. Our summer break from school isn’t that long but it’s our time, so capture it! Not all of your summer days have to be outing and adventures.

Lazy days at home are just as awesome.