Kate is a Floridian coming from a family of citrus farmers. Her goal is to provide high quality candid portraiture and make the process simple and straight forward for her clients.

Florida Summer Photoshoot Tips

Florida Summer Photoshoot Tips

Summer in Orlando, Florida is high season for family vacations – which translates to lots of families from all over the country coming together. This creates the perfect situation for getting some fun family photos done – because everyone knows the hardest part of family photography is getting everyone in the same place at the same time! With that being said, Florida’s summers can be absolutely brutal when it comes to the weather. As a life-long Florida native, the summer weather is just a part of life and business for me and I have learned a few tips I thought I should share with anyone looking to do a Summer Photoshoot in Florida.



Schedule Your Shoot Early in the Day

If you’re not from Florida, you might not realize what our summer weather schedule is like. Being that the sunshine state is a tropical climate, we get rained on. Everyday. Every. single. day. Luckily, it’s a pretty safe bet that the rains don’t show up until about 3 or 4 in the afternoon – and they usually only last maybe an hour. Sometimes, it’s raining across the street and the sun is literally shining on your side of the road. But after the rain lets up, the sun comes back out and now the humidity feels like your wrapped in a wet hot blanket. My go-to joke is that Summertime in Florida feels like you’re walking into someone’s mouth. Hands-down the best time for a photoshoot in the summer months is at sunrise. The light is beautiful, the heat has not caught up yet and the rains are hours away. Plus sometimes our sunrises are stunningly beautiful. Don’t be afraid to ask your photographer to wake up at the crack of dawn – we might not like it when the alarm goes off, but as soon as we see that morning light it’s totally worth it!

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Photo taken at Sunrise at Cocoa Beach Pier 



Have a Rain Plan

Rain in Florida Summers is inevitable. Every summer, since I was a little kid, I have seen the “wall of rain” phenomenon. It’s just what you think it is – a huge, unrelenting wall of rain. It’s not a cute light mist or sprinkle, it’s what Forrest Gump would call “Big ol’ Fat Rain.” And you will get soaked. That means when you’re planning a photoshoot – if you can’t convince your family to get up early and you’re forced to schedule your shoot later in the day, pick a location that has indoor and outdoor options for photoshoots. These types of locations are hotels with large windows, or a readily available covered porch. I recently did a photoshoot in the rain at Leu Gardens, and their huge covered porch proved to be a stunning backdrop for the large family.


Location ideas for Family Photography sessions in Orlando Florida

Photo taken at Leu Gardens in Downtown, Orlando


Dress Comfortably

As much as I love it when families dress up for family photos, summer is not the season for your best ballgown or a tuxedo. The best way to beat the heat is to be comfortable and stick to the Florida way of dressing! There is a reason why every native is wearing a Columbia shirt and boat shoes, it’s comfortable and practical. Girls – stick to skirts or dresses. They’re comfortable, stylish and look great if you twirl! Guys – colorful shorts and a nice loose fitting linen shirt looks great and will keep you cool. This time of year it’s a great idea to do bright and playful colors. Also, make your shoe choices based on your location choice. Don’t wear sneakers and heels on the beach, or flip flops at a fancy hotel. Stay practical in your choices. It’s ok to look like you’re dressed for summer in Florida – because you’re making memories at summertime in Florida!


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Photo taken at Omni Resort at Championsgate in Orlando, Florida 


Invest in matching umbrellas

If you’re totally freaked out by the whole possibility of rain or just the weather in Florida – invest in cute umbrellas for your family! I love clear umbrellas because they don’t create crazy lighting colors on people’s faces and they look classic. Umbrellas are even a great idea if there is no rain in the forecast – as photographers in Florida we are always looking to create some nice even shade on people’s faces and an umbrella is a super classic and cute way to do that! They’re a great and practical prop to bring with you on your shoot, so go ahead a shop around till you find something extra cute to bring to your shoot with you.


Florida summer photography tips

Photo taken at Leu Gardens in Orlando, Florida. 


Be in touch with your Photographer

This one is important! When you’re booking a photographer for a summer shoot in Florida, make sure you clearly understand how the rain plan will go. Ask questions. I personally love to be available for my clients via text so that they can ask me any question that pops into their head the day of the shoot. Florida’s weather is extremely hard to predict – so sometimes you cannot call a rain plan into effect until an hour or so before the actual shoot. So being on the same page and communicating quickly with your photographer is a must. Let them know your concerns, and remember they are a professional! They know how to deal with this kind of thing so if you’re unsure about something, defer to them.


Photo taken at Disney Springs in Orlando Florida 


Plan your shoot around a water-based activity

I love this one! Firstly, consult your photographer before you do this so they are properly prepared, but the kids LOVE being in the pool in the Florida heat – so why not make some memories while they’re swimming around. I have done shoots in backyard pools, at water parks and at the beach. The only real way to completely beat the heat is to have water around, so embrace that! Even a slip and slide can be a great place to get photos of the kids having a great time. It’s real-life photos and memories that the kids are no doubt going to remember the rest of their lives.


Photo from a Family Photojournalism Session at Champion’s Gate in Orlando Florida.

Waterproof makeup is worth the investment

It took me years to learn this one. I love doing my makeup, but I never understood why people would buy foundation for 4x the price of the one I bought. Well, it’s for that waterproof magic! If your shoot is outside at all, you’re going to sweat. And when you sweat, your makeup becomes a Jackson Pollack painting – only not a masterpiece. I finally got on board with the waterproof makeup last summer and it is a huge game-changer. Obviously no one wants to look terrible in their photos and every little bit helps, so invest the extra money in good makeup. You’ll be surprised at the difference.


summer photography tips in florida

Shoot Location: Disney’s Four Season’s Resort Orlando, Florida 


Keep the theme of “Summer” in mind

If you love the look of boots and dark hair and leaves on the ground, wait until fall to schedule your shoot. You will be miserable and sweaty and it will show in your photos. If you really just want to make family memories that look great – lean into the fact that it’s summer! Bring your sunglasses, a beach ball and all things summer. Don’t shy away from the season just because it’s hot. Personally, I want my photos to reflect real life memories which means they need to make sense! So if the only time your family is all together is during a hot Florida summer that doesn’t mean you can’t make great long-lasting memories. Just embrace the summer idea and run with it.


Summer tips for florida photoshoots

Photo from Calendar Photoshoot for Family First Firm in Orlando, Florida



If you’re interested in booking a summer photoshoot with us, you can do so by emailing Kate@KateMcLeanPhotography.com or Book Online Now! 

Check out our Family Photography Portfolio.