We love summer here at Clickin Moms. Sunshine, kids splashing in sprinklers, and long days lounging by the pool with a tall glass of sweet tea…what isn’t to love?

And we love summer so much that we created the annual Clickin Moms Photo Hunt to capture more of it with our cameras! This is the 11th year of this amazing event and we can’t wait to play alongside all of you to bottle-up everything that makes summer special.

What makes the Photo Hunt most special is that it allows this big, diverse, international community to work together toward a common goal. We all get to shoot alongside one another as if we were right next door (though you don’t have to be a member to join the fun!).

The Clickin Moms Photo Hunt is just one of the many ways that this community fosters friendship while encouraging artistic growth. And we couldn’t love it more.

Even better, at the end of July we will all have memory cards full of the BEST kind of summer memories! This year’s list is loaded with 84 unique items so that you will never run out of inspiration when capturing all that summer has to offer.

Today we are sharing our favorite tips for joining in the fun of the Photo Hunt and using your camera to document everything summertime.

photo hunt boys spraying each other with hose black and white kellie bieser

Be inspired by this year’s list

Even with the best of intentions, it can be hard to feel inspired to pick-up your camera in the summer months. With the kids out of school and the endless requests for juice boxes and screen time that come with that, we can feel a little drained at the end of the day!

And yet, we would argue that some of the best memories happen in summer. Which means that this is the time of year that you want to be most intentional in capturing the places and things that make summer so special for your family.

That’s where the Photo Hunt list is your best friend. We’ve worked to put together 84 items that scream summertime, taking the guesswork out of what you should be capturing. From bare feet to cookouts to wildflowers, there is no shortage of inspiration here to help you capture the magic of summer.

We like keeping the list on our phones as that allows us to have it on hand at all times. You can also keep a printed copy up on the refrigerator or family bulletin board and check off items as you find them (because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as crossing things off a list, right?!).

photo hunt girl putting bananas in her shopping cart by kellie bieser

Take your camera everywhere

Whether it’s a fancy DSLR or your phone camera, keep a camera close at hand wherever you go. Summer memories happen everywhere and we want you to be ready to capture them!

I keep my camera with a versatile lens on my kitchen counter. This is the hub of the house and by having my camera here, it is easy to grab it when the kids are doing something cute in the living room, the backyard, or anywhere else!

If you feel nervous about having your professional equipment out in public, your phone is perfectly capable of taking amazing photographs! Pay close attention to composition, color, and light to make the most of the scene in front of you.

Related: How to take better pictures with your phone

Make it a game for everyone

The Photo Hunt is the best not just in how it allows you to connect with your fellow Clickin Moms photographers, but also in how it allows you to get your kids in on the game! Give everyone in your family a list and work together to find all of the items. You will be amazed at how much more willing they are to be in the frame when they are invested in the process like this!

Have older kids? Let them take their own photos from the list! A little family competition to see who can find all 84 items is a great idea and you can offer the prize of an ice cream cone for the winner (and then photograph them eating it because that’s on this year’s list!).

photo hunt kids making funny faces into phone kellie bieser

Don’t be a “pro” for every shot

While we know you like to get every shot just right, you don’t need to be perfect for the Photo Hunt. Instead, have fun. You can get super creative and artistically involved for some of the items on the list, but don’t hesitate to get a snapshot every once in a while.

Another of the joys of the Photo Hunt is that is allows us to relax a bit (because that’s what summer is all about!). We get to let loose and embrace imperfection. We get to shoot for the sake of checking something off the list, not to submit a new portfolio. That kind of freedom can feel awesome!

So instead of aiming to create art with all 84 items, choose those that speak to you most and try to capture those in your own special style. The rest of them? You can surely get artsy with those too, but focus more on capturing them as part of your summer. Rather than putting pressure on yourself to be perfect, enjoy checking things off the list and shooting with less expectation.

photo hunt hand holding baseball macro black and white kellie bieser

Try something new

Is there something on the list that isn’t a part of your summer routine? Maybe give it a try! You might find that you are inspired to create a new summertime tradition because of the Photo Hunt list.

In the same way, try photographing things that are outside of your normal repertoire. Are you a kids and family photographer? This list has plenty of opportunities to incorporate that. But we also think you should try food photography, landscape photography, and maybe even some macro!

The Photo Hunt is a great time to experiment and the perfect opportunity to discover new things that you love.

photo hunt radishes kellie bieser

Think outside the box

The Photo Hunt list doesn’t have to be taken literally. We want you to get creative with how you interpret the items and how you capture them in your photos.

Don’t have a plan to go to the beach? Maybe you can set-up a Barbie beach party in the sandbox in the backyard! Don’t want to come home with a new pet frog? Try photographing a frog umbrella or make frog origami. Bring your farmers market haul home and take a fine art shot of your veggies. The sky is the limit here!

The possibilities are truly endless and this is your chance to get creative have some fun.

Share your photos

You can’t win this year’s awesome prizes if you don’t share your work! But more than that, we have found that sharing your summer photos (and using the hashtag #ClickinMomsHunt19) is a big part of what makes the Photo Hunt so special.

When you share your photos, you get the opportunity to share your unique summer experience with the world. We love looking through the hashtagged photos throughout July and seeing the variety of ways in which you interpret the items on the list.

Even more, sharing your photos will keep you motivated to keep shooting all summer long. When people get used to seeing the summer fun you are capturing, they aren’t going to want it to stop! Sharing keeps you accountable and that’s a good thing.

photo hunt kids looking at photo book kellie bieser

Have a plan for your pictures

While we definitely want to see all of your photos on Instagram and on the Clickin Moms forum, we also don’t want your summer memories trapped on your hard drive! We think you should have a plan to print your photos!

Maybe it’s a photo book that you can keep on the coffee table. Perhaps you will pick a few favorites and have them printed and framed for the wall. Or maybe you will have your photos made into a puzzle or into greeting cards or put on a mug.

However you choose to display your photos, we are all for it. This is the best way to relive the magic of summer all year long and your photos deserve to be cherished.

So get out there into the sunshine. Take your camera. And capture all of the fun that summer has to offer. We can’t wait to see what you create.