Summer has finally settled in and we begin creating anew our seasonal memories: cookouts, visiting the lake house, hiking and absorbing the sunshine. One activity that has also become popular in the summer is outside portraits, especially for families and high school seniors.

In reaching out to local Master Craftsman photographers, Jim and Lois Wyant, they shared that summer is the most popular time for outside photographs. The grass is a vibrant green, the trees are vivid and the temperature is “just right” for a relaxed, natural portrait setting. Families and high school seniors also have more flexible time with school summer vacation. The next popular time is fall, for mild weather and the fall color tones, which can run between the end of September to the end of October. Although the actual “peek” of fall colors is hard to pinpoint, there is usually a rich range of color during that time.

“Families and high school seniors are selecting to make their portraits more personal,” Lois says. “Including their own unique interests, hobbies and locations. Choosing areas like their home, lake cottage, boat and other personal locations. Wall decor pieces have a more significant memory for the family. Personalization prompts wall decor in the form of portrait art coming together as priceless memories for the family to be passed down as heirlooms.”

The Wyants are especially known for generational family portraits. Often those are connected with a special birthday or anniversary celebration for the grandparents.

“It is so precious to see the smiles of grandparents as they are surrounded by their children and grandchildren and then the happiness you can sense in their heart as that family portrait is hung on their wall,” Lois says. “It is so satisfying to create that type of special art piece.”

A few of the Wyant’s favorite family portrait stories included a family photographed on their sailboat. Outside sessions in front of the family home with the house as the background. The grandchildren baking cookies with grandma. A 5-foot panorama of a family of 10 children with their children, this collection was done of separate family groups and then put together of their favorite poses.

Family stories in the form of specialty albums can be captured in a multitude of ways that will bring a smile to the parent’s faces as the children and grandchildren start to leave the nest on their own adventures.

We learned that the three most important items to determine a quality outdoor portrait is experienced “true” professional portrait artist, the time of day and the clothing. The Wyants shared that the bright sun is not flattering for a portrait, it creates bad shadowing on the faces and bright light patches in the background. Either a cloudy day or toward sunset is ideal for optimum results.

Clothing should be solid colors that are coordinated. Color can make a difference depending on the home decor or the best color for the family skin tones.

For more photo tips, visit or give them a call at 317-663-4798.