Themed Summer Family Photoshoot Ideas

summer theme family photoshoot sporty

Fun summer family photoshoot themes:

For your family photos this summer, if you’re looking to mix things up, consider selecting a theme to capture fresh memories. Although candid, natural images with the Chicago backdrop are always a safe bet, trying something new can be fun and inspiring.

Get festive.

Festivals abound this time of year. Capitalize on a vibrant environment by scheduling your family photos during one. Farmers’ markets, food and flower stalls, artisanal street fairs, and music festivals are filled with great photo ops. Snap pics of your kids picking out a bouquet or dancing in front of a bandstand. Let them indulge in colorful cotton candy or chase bubbles in the kids’ zone. You’ll cherish the playful moments for years to come.

fun summer family photoshoot themes festival

Outfits: With so much going on at a festival or farmers market, keep your outfits classic and straightforward. Think whites/creams, navy, denim, and black or charcoal. Visit my festival family outfits Pinterest board for more inspo. 

Hairdos: Try a top knot, loose waves, or a braid.

Accessories: A natural fiber bag with flowers popping out. Dad, try rocking a bandana and tug the kiddos around in an old radio flyer wagon. 

Beachy boho.

Chicago’s beaches are a gorgeous setting for your family photos. Thrown on a maxi dress, outfit your kiddos in white, creams, navy, or denim, and create timeless, iconic images running and playing in the sand. The vast open waters, sandy beaches, and crashing waves create a photographer’s dream setting.

Framed figures small in the foreground against the gradient blues of Lake Michigan will make for lovely framed art on your walls.

Outfits: Show off your summer tan with lighter colors. Offset the blues and greens of Lake Michigan with contrasting colors. Long, loose dresses are fun for movement and play and look great with the sun shining from behind. Play with natural textures and fabrics like linen, cotton, silk, and straw. Check out this Pinterest board for more outfit ideas for beach family photos

Hairdos: If ever there’s a setting for beach waves, this is it. A loose ponytail with pieces down to frame your face is also a great choice if it’s windy.

Accessories: Stuff that beach bag with sand toys and a waterproof blanket. Layer a few gold necklaces, or try dangly earrings.

fun summer family photoshoot themes beachy boho

Chic city.

Make a statement in formal attire against the dramatic architecture downtown. Try out the steps of the Chicago Art Institute, posing before the iconic lions and towering columns. Or head over to Milton Lee Olive Park and twirl beneath the tunnel of locust branches. 

fun summer family photoshoot themes glam

Outfits: Try a wrap maxi or tee-length in classic black or a rich color that pops off the stone buildings behind you. Your little ones will look darling in a square neck dress or vest and slacks, dressed down with rolled-up sleeves and paired with white sneakers. Dad’s try a fun floral patterned tie or a light linen blazer to make it more seasonal. Check out this Pinterest board for more outfit ideas for formal family photos. 

Hairdos: Book a blow-out or try Hollywood curls for a glamorous feel.

Accessories: Strappy heels and jewelry with sparkle will elevate your look perfectly.

Who doesn’t have a nostalgic setting of backlit waterdrops and bare feet running through wet grass? Waterplay is a quintessential part of childhood. Sprinklers, splash pads, baby pools, and slip-and-slides are all great ways to induce playful moments and genuine smiles.

Fun with Water or a Retro theme.

fun summer family photoshoot themes retro

Outfits: Combine themes and make it retro-Americana with Dad in a button-down short-sleeve shirt, shorts, and aviators. Mom can wear a vintage patterned shift dress or a two-piece set. Check out this Pinterest board for more outfit ideas for retro family photos

Hairdos: Use a scarf as a headband, a high-pony, or oversized, playful 70s waves.

Accessories: Stay on theme with martinis with mini umbrellas, a floral kimono, and a pair of oversized sunglasses.

For more fun with a retro vibe.

Head to the Tasty Freeze, a throwback ice cream parlor, and an excellent background for a more natural, editorial family photo setting. Or make a reservation at Avondale Bowl in Logan Square. This 8-lane bowling alley is charming with exposed brick, mid-century modern lights, and light green accents. The activity will be great fun, authentic moments to capture for any candid photography lover.

Go Country.

Do you love those dreamy backlit photos amongst the tall prairie grasses? There are a few spots in and around Chicago where you can achieve a similar look. Northerly Island offers expansive open vistas where late afternoon and early-evening sun rays stretch across the native Illinois grasses. Thrown on a pair of cowboy boots and a sundress, or try a natural palette of cream, ivory, or white for fairytale pictures in the setting sun.

fun summer family photoshoot themes. country

What to wear: Button-front or flowy mid skirt, flannel, classic white-t, overalls. Check out this Pinterest board for more outfit ideas for country family photos.

Hairdos: A simple bend or loose waves.

Accessories: Cowboy boots and western hat. Fresh cut flowers. Piece of straw for your hubs.

Sports fans.

Does your family love sports? Lean into it your passion with a sports-themed photoshoot. You can avoid branded sports jerseys and still create a vibe with baseball caps, long white socks, striped-sleeved shirts, and props from your favorite choice of sport. Take it to the next level by heading to a court or field for a friendly game with your family. How about baseball at sunset? Throw some balls and kick up some dust for an all-American setting.

fun summer family photoshoot themes - sporty

What to wear: Track-suit jacket, bike shorts, jersey-inspired tees, baseball polo. Check out this Pinterest board for more outfit ideas for sporty family photos.

Hairdos: This theme is all about movement and personality. Keep your hair loose or secure it with a baseball cap or sweatband.

Accessories: stripped socks, sneakers, high-tops, ball caps.

To see more style inspiration for outfits to wear during your family photos, visit my summer outfits Pinterest board

Ready to book your themed summer family photoshoot? Great! I can’t wait to connect. You can contact me here. If you have more questions, schedule a 15-minute stress-free phone call here.