10 Things to Shoot this Summer

In Digital, How-to, Inspiration

I recently learned about The Year Without a Summer, which took place in 1816 and was caused by the 1815 eruption of Mount Tambura, a volcano in Indonesia that severely affected weather patterns around the world. In my home state of Pennsylvania, river ice was recorded in the Northwestern corner of the state in July and August, traditionally our hottest months of the year! Compared to Europe though, we got off easy; they were hit with the worst famine of the 19th century with food shortages far and wide. Can you image that?

Learning about this story had me thinking of all my favorite things about summer, which of course, I’ll want to celebrate with my camera. So I thought I’d create a list of my 10 favorite themes to shoot while the weather is hot, the days are long and I’m enjoying being outdoors as much as I can.

1. Water
Waves in the ocean. Hanging out at the pool. Boats on a lake. Whatever your local watering hole may be, look around you and capture the details surrounding it! Docks, rafts, beach balls, canoes, paddle boards – capture it all!


2. Veggies & Plants
I love that fresh, local produce and fruit is widely available all summer long – not to mention the sweet corn come August! Pull your camera out when you stop at your local CSA, plant nurseries, farmer’s stands and farmer’s markets. Or if you’re like me and you grow your own, shoot your garden in your own back yard!


3. Outdoor Dining
Summer creates a new room at my house, where our back deck turns into an outdoor dining room. Look to capture BBQs, open-air cafés, picnics and meals by lantern and candlelight.


4. Fireworks
Break out some sparklers and paint with light, or light some smoke bombs to play with color. If you’re really ambitious, you could even shoot the big boys too!


5. Festivals & Concerts
Music in the park anyone? Break out your camera while you’re enjoying some tunes or catching your local street festival!


6. Cold on a Hot Day
Ice cream and popsicle and cocktails, Oh My! Coolers full of drinks, piles of melting ice. If it’s cold on a hot day, capture it!


7. Playing Outdoors
Chalk on the sidewalk. Blowing bubbles. Riding Bikes. Summer means getting outside and having fun!


8. Summer Feet
Shoes are out, for the summer! (sing it with me) Dig those tootsies into the sand, slip on some flip-flops or go barefoot…and then catch it with your camera!


9. Open Windows
Winter is done, and the windows are open! Fresh air for all…and for my dog that means the car windows too!


10. Vacation
Probably the best thing about summer for many of us is going on vacation! Whether it’s putting your feet up on the dash on a road trip, pitching your tent while camping in nature or laying a striped towel on a sandy beach, capture those moments that make you feel relaxed and alive while letting go.


What are your favorite things to shoot in summer? Did any of them make this list? Share with us in comments to keep the ideas flowing.

Until next time,
Holly ~ Soupatraveler


    • I shoot more flowers and sunsets than I care to admit 😉 and jump with glee when I find a ladybug or preying mantis in my garden…and then go grab my camera!

  1. Oh, it is my hand’s down favorite season to shoot! I would hate to think about what would become of my mojo without summer. Your list is a hit parade of what I love to photograph, but I love the brilliant colors of summer – carnivals, picnics, road side food stands (while on road trips), bonfires, and then, of course, the butterflies.

    • You know, color was at the top of the list, but then I decided that it just went with the territory! Especially after winter, the brilliant bright colors are much needed! And bonfires and butterflies! YES!

  2. What a perfect list! Our beach town has been feeling the effects of a hurricane off Baja, and we’ve had “June Gloom” since early May. I can relate (just a little bit) to those ancestors who lost a summer, but really… it’s too early to complain! We’ll get our sunny mojo back soon, and there will be pictures taken!

  3. Love these bright and airy images, Holly! I’m so ready for summer. Campfires, diners, lakes, motels, surf, and sea.

  4. The last day of school is in 12 days, and then I am all over this list! If my 12 and 15 year old think they’re going to spend this summer plugged-in, they have another thing coming 😉 (Actually, I am all for screen time in summer, but only after we’ve made time to get out and DO stuff first!)

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