A lot of Moms message me before booking asking when is the best time to book a shoot for their family and honestly, my answer is always the same – it depends! Spending an evening in the sunshine making memories with the people you love most is a wonderful experience at any time of year but certain factors will make certain times more suitable for each family. When choosing a date I tend to look at the following:
All of my outdoor sessions take place at sunset. I am light obsessed and it’s pretty much always my number one priority when it comes to photography. Did you know that the word ‘photography’ literally translates to ‘drawing with light’? That’s why a deep understanding of light and how to use it properly will transform a photograph from OK – to WOW! My clients deserve the WOW photographs and so beautiful light is an essential ingredient.
Golden Hour is the hour before sunset – the sun is close to the horizon and the light is all ooey-gooey and totally gorgeous. It literally wraps around you and adds so much magic. For that reason, I schedule all of my outdoor sessions 60-90 minutes before the sun sets. This means that in the summer months, my sessions can be as late as 9pm. Unless you have an older child who can handle staying up later, most parents will want to schedule their session for a month when the sun sets earlier. Spring and Autumn are perfect for this and are the reason my clients book so far in advance. If you know that you will need an earlier session then definitely get in touch early to schedule for one of these periods – even more so if you need a weekend!
Another consideration is how you want to dress for your photos. All of my clients receive in-depth styling advice from me and more recently I have introduced a range of stunning dresses for moms to wear too but the time of year will definitely influence your choices. Firstly, in terms of colours – I love deep reds, mustards and rusts for autumn whereas creams, corals and soft pinks work really beautifully for spring. These are not hard and fast rules at all but considering the look and colours of the landscape can help you decide on a colour palette for your clothing.
Also consider how warm it will be. If you know you want to wear a really lightweight summery dress and not worry about layering up your children then spring or late summer/early autumn will be best. Regardless of the time of year, I always encourage moms to brave the cold and wear the dress! I think a gorgeous flowy dress adds so much to the images and to your confidence but if being a little chilly is going to affect your enjoyment of the session then definitely opt for a warmer month. With children, colder months will require tights, boots and knitwear (I don’t recommend coats or heavy jackets as these are bulky and get in the way) so that’s something to keep in mind too. It really does depend on the look you want for your images!
Some parents want to tie their session in with a special milestone. Maybe a 6 month milestone session for your baby or to celebrate their 1 year birthday? I think this is such a lovely thing to do – our babies change so much and so quickly – documenting these memories is so important. If you want to tie your session in with a special event then it’s super important to book well in advance to make sure that you get the date you want. I have clients booked in until autumn 2022 so feel free to reach out with your date even if it’s later in the year.
A Note on Weather
Our British weather can definitely throw a curve-ball at us at times and so it’s important to be prepared for last minute weather changes. Outdoor sessions are such a beautiful way to document your family memories but in order to have the benefits of that, it does mean we have to be a little flexible sometimes. On rainy days, I will reschedule and I make sure that I keep enough rain dates back per month to be accommodating to my clients. If you have booked a weekend session with me, I keep the whole weekend free so that we can switch days if necessary. For this reason, it’s a good idea to keep both evenings free too if you can!
If it’s not raining but overcast, I will generally still go ahead with the session – it depends on the sky and the light. If it’s flat white sky and very grey I will usually reschedule but many overcast days can be very beautiful and that is where hiring a photographer with a solid understanding of light is key. On overcast days I will use the light differently but still in a way that will enhance your gallery and add depth and dimension to your photos. The autumn session above (Mom in the red dress) was on a very overcast day but it was absolutely gorgeous so please don’t despair if there’s no sun on the day of your session!
If a sunny day is super important to you – just let me know when booking. It might require some extra flexibility on both of our parts and with the best will in the world I can never guarantee sunshine but I will do whatever I can to make it happen for you!
So now you know what to consider when choosing a date for your family photos! Picked a date already? Great! Get in touch via my contact form to enquire…I can’t wait to work with you!