Yay! You’re thinking about booking an outdoor shoot for your family.
And now you’re probably wondering what time of year you should book it for.
There are a few aspects to consider, and in this post, I’m going to walk you through them.
The biggest consideration? The age of your children.
All my photoshoots take place before sunset
This is when the sun is nice and low, and more importantly, the light is most flattering.
The sun can be really tricky to work with, especially during the middle of the day when it’s directly overhead. You’ll notice really strong shadows and bright areas on your subject if you’ve ever taken photos during this time.
Panda eye shadows don’t make for great photos.
My photoshoots take place 90-minutes (ish) before sunset. If it’s an overcast day we may be able to bring your shoot forward by an hour or so (I’ll let you know on the day), but I always recommend holding out in case the sun decides to show its face. That’s when the magic happens and we’ll get beautiful golden light.
What does this mean for you?
Sunset times vary from one month to the next and it’s much later during the summer. If you’re concerned about keeping the kids up past their bedtime (and I completely understand), that’s a great reason to go for an earlier Spring or Autumn date.
I wouldn’t ask any of you to do anything that I haven’t done myself. Every year I book a summer photoshoot for my own family and my kids stay up well past their bedtime.
It’s a treat. Like a day at the theme park when you stay until closing. You know the kids will fall asleep on the car journey home. It’s worth it as a one-off for beautiful photos.
What if they get tired and grizzly?
This can happen at any time of day.
I’ve got lots of tips and tricks up my sleeve to keep them engaged and having fun. Once children are running around in the fresh air, they get a second wind. As always, kids surprise us with how much energy they have. And if they do get tired towards the end, this is a perfect time for some sleepy snuggles.
Photoshoot start times
Here’s a rough idea of my photoshoot start times throughout the year. Sessions last between 60-90-minutes so please factor that in when you’re working out the best time for your family.
March – 4.30pm/5pm
April – 6pm/7pm
May – 7pm/7.30pm
June – 7.30pm/8pm
July – 7.30pm/8pm
August – 6.30pm/7.30pm
September – 5.30pm/6.30pm
October – 4.15pm/5.15pm
November – 2.30pm/3pm
Do you have a favourite season?
Next consideration – what’s your favourite time of year?
Do you prefer summer dresses and sandals or chunky autumnal knitwear?
My outdoor photoshoots run from Spring to Autumn (March – November). I tend not to shoot outdoors during the winter months unless you have much older children. Once little ones get cold, there’s often no coming back from it and for the sake of waiting 4-months, it’s just not worth it.
My work is consistent throughout the seasons, so your photos will have the same look and feel regardless of when you book. The only difference is your styling, as the clothes you wear will have an impact.
Here are some examples of my work throughout the seasons so you can see for yourself.
I’m often asked if morning sessions work well. They can do, but there’s a limited opportunity during the warmer months as the sun is already too high by 8:30am between May and August.
I do have very limited sunrise shoots available during March and October for any early birds out there. These start at 8.30am.
Unless you want to get up at the crack of dawn, which I would be 100% up for. I know some of you will be in the 5am CBeebies camp. I remember those days well. In that case, sunrise shoots can be brilliant.