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Summer can be a slow time for photographers, but it doesn’t have to be. In this post, we will give you some ideas for booking Summer photo shoots, how to cool down when the weather gets too hot during a photo session, and some marketing ideas you can use to fill up your calendar this Summer.

Summer is a great time to spread out some of your Fall bookings into your Summer calendar. Read on for our best tips for booking, shooting (and cooling down!) Summer photo shoots. 

Benefits for your clients when they book a photo session in the Summer

  • Everyone’s schedule is not bogged down with holiday or school year events.
  • Everyone will look fresh in their pictures from being outside all Summer
  • It’s one less shoot you have to worry about scheduling come Fall
  • You can choose an on-location setting and not worry about the temperature being so cold
  • Everyone is more relaxed (and usually more well-rested!) in the Summer months
Family photo session on the beach.

Summer Photo Shoot Ideas

Summer’s sunny skies and warm weather open up many opportunities for great photo shoots. Here are some Summer photoshoot ideas you can use to get your Summer calendar booked up (reword)

Head to the beach

A Summer photo shoot at the beach is a classic for a reason. However, consider an early morning shoot if the weather is particularly hot.  Sunset shoots also offer stunning light and opportunities for classic photos your clients will love. However, if you are photographing a family with little children, they may find it hard to stay awake at this later hour, and a morning shoot may work better.  

Play with the light

We all know the part that light plays in photography. On the beach, you can capture amazing light-soaked images. The best time to do this is during the golden hours, either one hour before sunrise or one hour before sunset. Depending on who you are shooting that day, maybe a family with young children, or a couple’s engagement photos, you can choose one of those times to book your Summer photo session. 

If you have your choice of beach settings, try to find a beach that has some additional natural details along with the surf and the sand. For example, think about tall grasses (don’t disturb the dunes though!), jetties, or piers. 

Summer sports photo shoots

Offering Summer sports photo shoots is another way to book Summer sessions into your calendar. Whether you are photographing a Summer baseball or little league game or simply taking pictures of some backyard family games, these photo shoots offer fun opportunities to give clients something a little different for their family pictures.

Summer carnivals, fairs, and festivals

Summer is full of things to do and places to go. Booking a Summer photo shoot at a Summer carnival, fair, or festival will result in some uniquely fun photos for your clients. These locations provide colorful backgrounds and a lot of activities that make for engaging photo moments. 

Capture classic Summer activities

If you are not near a beach and your clients do not often request that location, you can still offer some classic Summer favorites to keep your calendar booked.

Some classic ideas for Summer photo shoots are camping trips, a day at the pool, or a family backyard BBQ. Remember to get some action shots on all of these shoots. Eating, splashing, and playing games all make for some memorable images.

Mini-session idea calendar.

Photography Mini-sessions Ideas

Mini-session summer theme ideas

  • lemonade stand 
  • Sunflower sessions
  • 4th of July
  • Backyard BBQ
  • Indoor timeless sessions 
  • 4th of July

You can find more ideas for mini-sessions in our 12 Months of Mini-sessions download and learn more about how to grow your photography business with mini-sessions with our Mini-sessions 101 Ebook.

Too hot for your Photo Shoot?

Summer can bring gorgeous warm weather, but what can you do if it gets too hot to be comfortable during your Summer photo shoot? Here are some ideas to cool you and your clients down so you can keep shooting and capturing the images you need.

Ten ideas to cool down a Summer photo shoot

  1. Bring a battery-powered fan.
  2. Keep a lot of drinks handy. Make sure to bring a cooler with a lot of cold beverages and keep you and your clients hydrated throughout the shoot.
  3. Choose a spot near the water and incorporate some water play into your photo shoot.
  4. Try shooting in a forest or wooded area that still allows for the light you need and provides a cooler environment.
  5. Bring ice packs.
  6. Wear light colors. 
  7. Set up a cooling area- pitch a small pop-up tent or canopy for shade, have a battery-powered fan, and cool drinks inside.
  8. Have a few backup spots planned ahead of time. For example, if it is really hot, try to bring your photo shoot inside for a part of the shoot.
  9. Choose early morning for times of Summer that are notoriously hot.
  10. Get a backup date on the calendar in case of a heatwave. 

Marketing Summer Photo Shoots

Do you need a few ideas for getting the word out there to book your Summer photo shoots? We’ve got you covered. You can use a combination of Instagram posts, local and VIP Facebook groups, and your email list to tell your current clients and get new clients to book their photo shoot this Summer.

Use upcoming holidays

Summer has a few major holidays that may attract people to book a Summer session. Mother’s Day photos are always in-demand (you could even offer Mother’s Day minis indoors or at your chosen location). Other Holidays like The 4th of July provide a festive Summer vibe for photos. Graduations, Family reunions, Summer vacations, and birthdays are sessions with which you can fill your summer calendar.

Include a call to action

If you want to book sessions quickly, you will want to include a clear and direct call to action. For example, include messaging with a sense of urgency in your social media posts and emails that let people know if they want to secure a spot with you for their photo shoot; they need to book it now.

Share call to action statements like: 

  • Summer sessions are filling fast- book now!
    Don’t wait until Fall- book your family photo shoot today!
  • Limited Summer session spots are available- secure yours now!

Facebook groups

Use your local Facebook group (s) for advertising your Summer photo shoot openings. Before you post, check that the group allows business posts. If they do, add some urgency to your messaging, include a call to action, and make it easy for them to book a Summer session by including a link in your post. 

 If you have a VIP group for your clients, this is the perfect opportunity to offer them advance booking opportunities. You can also give your VIP groups first dibs on booking limited edition sessions that are only available in the summer on a specific date.

Share sample images

Instagram is the place to share samples of your work and draw attention to the gorgeous potential of Summer photo sessions. Share your images from past photo shoots (if you don’t have any from Summer, you can share indoor photo shoots and use your posts to suggest Summer as an excellent time to book those timeless indoor photo sessions.)

Sample Instagram posts

Summer is the perfect time to book your family photo session! Why? Everyone is sun-kissed and looking fresh, it’s one less thing you have to do once back to school and the holiday season rolls around, just to name a few reasons! Summer photo shoots are fast becoming a favorite, so be sure to lock in your dates now- click the link in my bio to book your session before all of the spots are taken!

There are so many options for Summer photo shoots- the beach, Summer sports, backyard, BBQs, and so many more. But did you know that Summer is also the perfect time to have timeless indoor photo shoots taken? Everyone looks fresh and well-rested, and you don’t have to worry about struggling to fit your photo shoot in with the busy back-to-school calendar or holiday rush. Summer slots are filling up fast- click the link in my bio to book your Summer photo session today!

Use your email list

As always, your email list is an invaluable tool for booking repeat and new clients. Get in touch with potential clients by responding to inquiries that may be waiting in your inbox and sending out an email blast to everyone on your list. This is also an excellent time to share some sample images so potential clients can see your work and get excited to have their amazing photos.

Sample email blast

Sample #1


I am offering _____ this weekend and wanted to give you first dibs on a time slot. The weather looks amazing! If you are interested, hit replay on this email, and I will get you booked!

Sample #2

Hi___! I am offering _______ mini-sessions this weekend and wanted to give you first dibs on a time slot- if you are interested, hit reply on this email or give me a call at _____________, and I will get your spot reserved. Unfortunately, spots are limited; I hope to see you there!

Run an ad

You can run ads in addition to these methods above to get even more attention to your photography business this Summer. When you run an ad on social media or Google, be sure to target your ads to your audience's demographics, including their age range, location, occupation, and any other demographics that may target your ideal clients. 

Make sure to create messaging with a sense of urgency and include a call to action (Spots are filling up fast- book yours today!). Also, don’t forget to include a link where potential clients can book their photo shoot with you.

Couple at the each looking a the water.

Final Thoughts

If you need more help filling up your Summer calendar, you can download our 12 Months Of Mini-sessions calendar. But remember, while mini-sessions are great for filling up those empty spots on your calendar, you don’t have only to offer mini-sessions in the Summer. Promoting Summer bookings for full-length sessions is a great time to utilize some extra time to create stunning, timeless portraits for you and your clients. 

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