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5 Tips for Taking Family Photos in the Summer

After almost a decade as a Houston family photographer, I have seen it all from meltdowns to picture-perfect, dream sessions! Follow these 5 Tips for taking summer family photos to make things a bit easier!

Malibu family photographer

5 tips for taking summer family photos

I know first hand how overwhelming taking family photos can be with little ones in tow.  But it doesn’t have to be! Here are a few tips I’ve learned along away to help make the summer photo session more fun and relaxed!

Outdoor Family Photos Houston

Local to Houston and looking for a Houston Family Photographer? Join the family below! 

Tip #1: Dress Cool

The first of the 5 Tips for taking summer family photos might be the most important!

While layers can be so cute, we all know the Texas heat is absolutely brutal. Mommas, try a flowing dress like this!

Houston Family Photographer

Houston Maternity Photographer

If you are pregnant, I highly recommend Pink Blush. They have the cutest dresses like the one above!

Short sleeves or rolled up sleeves for dad is great!

Galveston Family photographer

McGovern Centennial Gardens Houston photographer

Taking photos in the summer is the best excuse to put the girls in beautiful, light summer dresses and sandals!

Houston Outdoor Family Photos

Shorts and short sleeves for the boys is perfect!

Houston Children Photographer

There is nothing worse than feeling so uncomfortable in the heat so try your best to find something light, comfy and cute!

Beckendorff Farms Family Photos

Want more tips on what to wear for family photos? Check out our post on what to wear for outside family photos here!

Tip #2: Plan out the color scheme

My second tip for taking family photos in the summer is to really think through your outfit colors.

Think about where you want to display the photos. If you have a neutral vibe with the photos, they will look good in every room! If you have a navy and gray living room and know you want to display the photos there, consider incorporating navy into your photos to match!

Lifestyle Houston Family PHotographer

Taking photos in the fall?  Check out our fall outfit inspiration here!

Tip #3: Timing is everything!

I never fully understood the importance of a mini session until having kids. Now I totally get it!

Try doing a mini-session, 20 minutes or less, to keep the meltdowns at bay. Your little ones will have a better chance of holding it together for 10 – 20 minutes. Especially in the summer heat, you’ll be glad you did a shorter session.

Houston Front Porch Photographer

Another important tip for taking summer family photos is to consider doing the session in the morning! I know my littles are typically better in the morning.

With the sun setting around 8 pm or later during the summer, you might find yourself trying to do photos during prime “witching hour” if you do an evening session.

Tip #4: Arrive early, fed & happy

My fourth tip for taking summer family photos is to make sure to arrive early for your photo session! Corralling your family in your Sunday’s best is tough enough so don’t add the stress of being late. Give yourself a 30-minute buffer if you have to! Do whatever it takes to arrive early so you don’t add on the stress of being late and missing time during your session.

Also, you’ll want to eat ahead of time! Nothing is worse than a hangry toddler … or husband! Am I right?! Make sure everyone is happy and fed so that all you have to do is play and love on each other during the session!

I know not everyone is for bribes during sessions but fruit gummies really are the only thing that gives us a fighting chance with our toddler. If you know there is something that will motivate your little one, bring it!

Houston Family Photographer

Tip #5: Don’t sweat the small stuff

I mean this quite literally! We all know it can get quite sweaty in Texas but I promise you I’ve only had to photoshop sweat out of one session! ONE, y’all! So if you are sweating a bit, don’t worry about it. Dab it if you can and move on! It most likely won’t show up.

Also, don’t worry about the small stuff too! Relax, have fun, and just embrace your crazy life! I know my life with two littles right now is ridiculous! 9 times out of 10 Kinsey is screaming in the photos we try to take of her with my big camera. For real, we took our Easter photos with us smiling and Kinsey in the background screaming! It was hilarious. I could get frustrated but I know it’s just life right now! She won’t be like this forever! I just try my best to distract her and have fun.  Eventually, she warms up and we at least get a couple!

Also, kids tend to feed off of your energy. If you are rushed and stressed, it could affect them more than you think. Odds are that if you are calm and having fun, they will too!

I hope these 5 tips for taking summer family photos help make your session a total success! You got this!

Cheering for you always!

So much love from our family to yours!


Michelle, Kellan & the girls!

Houston Family Studio Photographer

Want to book a summer session with us? Join our Cotton Family here:

Or contact us through the contact page here! 


The Cotton Collective is a natural light photographer located in the heart of Houston, Texas.

Houston Family Photographer | Houston Maternity Photographer | Houston Newborn Photographer 

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Cocktails, baby giggles, best friends
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from the ring to the first kiss

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secrets to sun-soaked portraits, happy clients & a heart-centered business

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