three generations of family jump from a dock into water at the same time with their hands in the air

Why summer is the best time to take pictures with your family (yes, the professional ones!)

If you look at the calendars of most family photographers, you’d think autumn is the best season for taking family photos. Its the last stop on the good weather train before pulling into the winter and holiday card season, at least here in the mid-Atlantic, and fall leaves are beautiful to be sure.

When I review my own family photos, my favorites are taken in summer. Its true that I might be too busy with OPP (other people’s pictures) during the fall to take our own but I think there’s something else. Maybe it will prompt you to choose summer for your documentary family portraits too.

I’ve been thinking about why delight is such an important thing to experience, capture and share as a family. Delight is a spark we feel inside of us, a giggle we share with God. And to capture it on film (or 0’s and 1’s) is to make a portal we can always plug back into. A portal to, “ahhhhh, now this is living” and “this right here is what’s actually important”. Delight reminds us to live as fully as we can with our kids.

Smiling for a camera is supposed to signify “happy” but happy, as a constant state of being, doesn’t really exist. There are only families who commit to experiencing as many happy moments together as they can amidst the responsibilities of life and the challenges of growing up and raising children.

Sometimes I think that our favorite photos happen on vacation simply because vacations give us permission to experience delight. Permission to stop working and sit in a floaty. Permission to explore a new and exciting place, permission to try a new food or to enjoy a favorite (like an ice cream cone with sprinkles). Delight is often associated with our own childhood memories and the memories we want our children to have too.

I truly hope that summer becomes my busiest season. I hope we can lean into delight in more ways, expand our understanding of where to find it and what more it can be.

What is your favorite summer delight? What might a family photo session designed around it look like for you?

Yes, I’m going full cheese here but the word “light” is in “delight”, isn’t it??? I really think we’re onto something here. 🧀📸✨

Thinking of booking a summer session? Want to talk through some ideas and get really excited? Click here to take the first step. P.S. – its not at all hard to get kids to smile during summer sessions (grown ups can’t resist either).

a boy runs across sand at a beach with aqua water

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