For those of us who like to sleep late, July through September are the best times to find and photograph the Milky Way and the SF bay area based Star Circle Academy can help you. Look to the southern sky from just after sunset to midnight this time of year.
Depending where you are, just looking might not be quite enough. Nocturnal photographer Steven Christenson has posted 2 helpful articles on the Star Circle Academy blog on the subject of finding and photographing the expanse that is our home galaxy and is happy to answer questions in the comments.
I have yet to capture a Milky Way photo I want to share, so I link to one of Steven’s below.
If the picture looks a bit strange, it is a 180 degree vertorama (a series of stitched pictures) taken straight overhead from horizon to horizon. The west horizon is at the top of the photo.