Looking for a fun and colorful way to capture your family’s memories this summer? As a Columbus Ohio Family Photographer, I’ve spent many summer capturing clients running barefoot through their yards. Today, I’m sharing my 5 favorite summer family photo ideas. These ideas are not only fun and colorful, but they’re also outside the box, ensuring your photos will capture your unique personalities AND turn the experience into an adventure that even Dads will love.

Teagan swings in her tree swing at sunset in her backyard in Columbus Ohio

1. Picnic in the park (or backyard)

Imagine a gentle breeze, bare feet, and your family enjoying some delicious snacks on a cozy blanket. To make things even more fun, bring some yard games like frisbee, volleyball, or some scooters to zoom around on! With a natural and relaxed setting and the sun shining down, you’ll actually enjoy your afternoon spent together and walk away with candid shots of your family belly-laughing and having a blast! That’s sure to bring a smile to your face every time you open that photo album.

2. Water play

If you want to make a splash with your photos – I know, I know – look no further than water play. A backyard pool, sprinkler, or free city splash pads like the Powell Splashpad or the Scioto Mile make for endless fun. So put on those silly patterned swimsuits, grab some towels, and let’s capture some hilariously wild photos that will have the whole family feeling like kids again.

3. Ice cream social

Instead of rewarding your kiddos with ice cream after the session, consider making it part of the experience! After all, who doesn’t love a sweet and scrumptious treat? Not only is it the perfect way to cool down and satisfy your sweet tooth, it’s also adorable in photos (and seriously fun). From silly faces with melting cones to group shots with your favorite flavors, the possibilities are endless. So go ahead – have your ice cream AND photograph it too!

4. summer garden

If you’re anything like me, you love spending time in your beautiful bloomin’ garden in the summertime. So why not hang out in your garden for your photoshoot? Doing your photo session at home means you’ll have everything you need closeby, and you can even whip up a salad from all your home-grown veggies and capture it all on camera. And with the warm summer sun providing beautiful morning and evening light, you’re sure to capture some stunning shots that will make your heart bloom for your little fam. 

5. camping trip

You don’t need to leave home for this one! You can capture some amazing memories of your family enjoying the great outdoors – ahem, backyard – by creating the scene right there where everyone feels comfortable. Set up some camping chairs around your fire pit, cook an adventurous outdoor dinner, and whip out the guitar for some tunes! Consider adding some string lights to add a cozy and inviting atmosphere, and incorporate camping activities like roasting marshmallows (duh!) to make it feel like the real deal.  

Remember: planning for, and capturing, your family’s summer memories shouldn’t feel like a chore.

Mom and daughter pick a small watermelon from the garden
A family standing in front of a blue street art statue outside of the Columbus Museum of Art in Ohio
Bria sucks on a popsicle on a hot summer day in Columbus Ohio

Hi there!

I’m Daisy, and you’re very welcome here.

I’m a documentary Columbus Ohio family photographer offering stress-free and fun portrait experiences. I hope you enjoyed 5 summer family photo ideas for fun and colorful memories, and if you’d like to chat about your own family photos, smash that button below. Can’t wait to hear what wild and wonderful things you’re dreaming up!

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