I visited my hometown, Tallahassee, last year for the first time in many years. I was visiting for an old friend from high school’s baby shower. While I was there I took photos of another friend and her new baby...
One of the questions I get asked the most is “What time should we take pictures?”
If we’re doing an outdoor session, I insist we start our session about an hour before sunset. Nearly every single (outdoor) photo you’ll see on my instagram or website, is taken within the last hour before sunset. If you love the light and airy look. If you love the golden sun. If you like the flattering soft lighting. Prioritize the time we take pictures.
This doesn’t mean that all these photos are taken at the same time though. The time the sun sets varies throughout the year. For example, if we’re scheduling our session towards the end of June or July, we’ll be beginning our photos close to 8pm. However in December, we’ll need to begin around 4:30pm! That’s a huge difference!
What about bedtime?
I know in the summer late times can be tough for kids. And it can be tempting to want to schedule a session earlier. I totally understand. I have two little kids, and I am a BIG believer in bedtimes. I know how key they are to having happy kids.
However, the earlier we schedule, the harsher the light will be and this soft, beautiful light will be impossible to achieve. First, most kids are actually pretty cheerful during sessions. They like getting to run around in a new place.
Here are a couple of suggestions for how to prepare:
Try to let the kids have a late afternoon nap and push dinner back to they are more rested and full before your session.
Bring small treats (not chocolate or other melty things) to have the kids snack on during the session
However if you feel the best thing for your family is to stick to the bedtime schedule, I recommend scheduling a fall session. October sessions begin around 5:30-6:15pm.