7 Photos to take before summer ends

7 Photos to take before summer ends

Hey momma!  I’m sure you’re fully aware that school will start soon.  Those yellow (orange?) school busses will soon be rolling through your
neighborhood, new backpacks will be filled with new pencils + notebooks and the fun of summer will come to an end.  Most moms are ready for kids to go back to school, but at the same time if you’re like me, you’re a bit sad to see summer leave.  So I sat down to make up a list of some photos to take before summer ends.  Hopefully this list will spark some ideas to help you squeeze in some fun memories and photos with your kids.  And to help, I’ve made up a handy printable checklist that you can print off & hang on the fridge!  You can find that at the end of this post.  🙂

1. Playing in the sprinklers

There’s something so fun about running around the yard with the sprinklers going, am I right?  My kids love doing that and there’s times I’ll let them have the hose with the sprayer thingy on the end and they just go to town with that.  🙂 (An extra 5 points to whoever can tell me what that “sprayer thingy” is called…I’m still drawing a blank!)  Kids playing with water is no doubt fun to watch + photograph, just be sure to stay a safe distance back so your camera doesn’t get wet!

Photos to take before summer ends

2 – Ice cream cones outside

Give the kids some ice cream cones and have them sit on the front porch enjoying the warm afternoon. And if it starts to drip?  Even better…you’re outside anyway, right?  🙂  For this photo we were downtown messing around and it was hot, so the kids (and I) got ice cream cones inside and oh were they tasty.

take great pictures of your kids

3 – School supply shopping

How fun to capture going back to school than with school supply shopping?  You can photograph them picking out their notebooks, deciding which backpack they want, and maybe one of the entire haul of the trip.  I know as my daughter has gotten older, the lists have changed and what’s on the list is a good indication of her grade.  Kindergarten was all about crayons and markers, and in 5th grade we added a scientific calculator – yikes!   Documenting this shopping trip is a great way to tell the story and add some neat variety to your photo books.  Try to not get other people’s faces in your shot, though.  🙂

4 – Back to school photo shoot

Have you done a back to school photo shoot with your kiddos before?  It’s really fun – I hope you try it this year.  🙂 I just recommend setting aside an evening to go to your local park, maybe the school playground if it’s open or even your backyard.  The point of this dedicated shoot is to get some cute shots of your kids in their first day of school outfits without the rush of the first day of school craziness.  You’re allowed the time to pose them how you’d like, make sure the light is right and to nail your settings so you can have some shots you’re proud of showing off.  Plus?  You’ll have a beautiful image to post on FB the morning of the first day of school – this keeps Grandma happy.  🙂

summer photos to take before school starts

5 – With neighborhood BFF’s

Do your kids have certain friends in the neighborhood they’re always running around with during the summer?  This is another great photo to take before summer ends so why not stop them for a quick photo before they play together next time?  These friendships can last a long time and capturing them is an important part of their childhood.  I would just make sure the parents of the friend are ok with you taking their kids photo and if you want to post it anywhere online, make sure you ask permission first.  This isn’t required but I know I always appreciate being asked before my kids photos end up on Facebook.  Plus, some parents have real reason to keep their kids image off the internet so it’s always good to be sure before you offend or upset anyone.

6 – Favorite summertime activity

What is something your kids love to do during the summer?  Do you go to the Zoo every week?  The local water park?  Maybe you always watch a movie in the afternoon to escape the heat.  Whatever it is, be sure to document it by photographing it.  Your favorite activity will likely change through the years, and being able to see the progression will be fun to look back on.

summer photos to take before school starts

7 – Sidewalk chalk art

What kid doesn’t enjoy drawing on the cement?  I mean really – most of us moms will get down there and channel our inner artist with the kids.  Why not give them some chalk and have them decorate up the sidewalk/driveway/back patio – whatever you’ve got.  🙂  This could even be a fun way to document each grade.  You could have them draw the number grade they’re going into that year, then have them lay down on the ground and take their photo next to that number.  What a fun way to showcase their personality and development each year.  🙂

A few tips for each option…

  • Try to photograph your kids in the late afternoon/evening.  When the sun starts to go down, the light is warmer and softer and just better all around (compared to during the day when the sun is high + creates harsh shadows on little faces.
  • Use some great composition guidelines to help make your photos stand out more – less like a snapshot, more like a wall-worthy photo.  Not sure what I’m talking about?  I did a little post over here that might help you out!  🙂
  • Remember to capture the details too…their little hand holding the ice cream cone, the school supplies stacked up, the chalk on the ground or in their hand.  These detail shots help to tell the story and add to your photo book.
  • Always be patient when taking your child’s photo.  Sometimes we (I) can get too caught up in getting the perfect photo and get stressed out which (I’m sure you know) our kids can sense.  This just creates a tense environment that isn’t fun for anyone.  Let’s just both agree to let our kids be kids and not worry if their hair isn’t perfect or their face is dirty.  Sometimes those are the photos that we end up cherishing the most.  🙂 If you’d like some tips on getting natural smiles out of your kids, you can check out this post for some more helpful tips!

Do you have any must-take photos that you get every year?  I’d love for you to share, so leave a comment below telling us what traditions you have!

I hope this list of photos to take before summer ends helps you in documenting these last few days of summer and I would love to see the photos you take!  Use the hashtag #greateverydayphotos when uploading to Instagram so I can see what awesome memories you’ve captured!  Are we friends on Instagram yet?  If not, come on over + say hi!  🙂


until next time friend,

I'm a photographer mom who loves teaching other moms how to boss their big girl camera around!

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