So, You've decided to commit to making time to document your families life journey
and you find a photographer that you LOVE, you contact them to book a date but then the photographer asks "what time shall I book you in?" and then you're stumped. "What time of day is BEST for an outdoor family photo session?" you ask yourself.
Then you ask, "What if the Sun's not out?"
As Forrest Gump once said "Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get" insert UK weather instead of Life and this is the reality of living in the UK. So, relying on the Sun being out, even when it's forecast, isn't always a reality.
Photography is all about light, of course it's about capturing all of your gorgeously entwined moments, but...it's about light, so heading out into the wild with your wildlings to create the photos of your dreams can depend on the time of day and also the time of year. Every season has it's best light, here are a few examples of different light, how it effects a session and to reassure you that even when the sun isn't shining it doesn't mean you won't have beautiful photos.
Family Photo sessions in Bright Sunshine
You can get bright sunshine at any time of year but, of course, it is usually most abundant in the Summer. I tend to position people with their backs to the sun to avoid 'squinty face' or we find a nice bit of shade. Full sun is great at making colours and partially cloudy skies POP. I love photos with bold colours, they're so fun and dynamic aren't they? Cons of bright Sun can be some dark shadows and unavoidably overly bright highlights on hair and shoulders when in unshaded locations.
Family Photo sessions on cloudy/overcast days
I know that lots of people would say that overcast photos would look boring and dull but I actually think it's the opposite. Overcast light is probably 'THE BEST' light for creating soft flattering shadows on the face, works in lots of open locations, can capture dramatic skies and is perfect for bright coloured clothes. Cons of overcast days, shaded locations can be too dark.
Family Photo sessions at Sunrise and Sunset
With the sun a lot lower in the sky, photo sessions at Sunrise and Sunset are the best at creating dramatic photos and are my personal fave. On sunny days the warm sun glows around your family and on overcast days it's create deliciously moody photos. The best time for these photos is in the few hours after and before Sunrise and Sunset. Arriving promptly to these sessions is key so as not to be disappointed with it either being too bright or getting dark too quickly. Cons, the Sun may rise or fall more quickly than anticipated and overcast days it can get dark quicker.
What is the best time of day for a family photo session?
Regardless of the season and even if it's cloudy, booking your family photography session depends on where the Sun is in the sky. The higher in the sky, the least flattering the light will be on your faces which is why most photographers avoid 10am-3pm times and I'm the same. In fact, where possible, I prefer all of my sessions to be closer to Sunrise/Sunset as I feel the light is just so much more magical at those times of day and help to create the heartfelt and meaningful photos that I and my clients love the most.
About the Author
Hi there! My name is Estella Ward, Owner of Entwined Photography. It's my mission to capture heartfelt joy and connection. I have always been drawn to photography that draws emotion and captures the spirit of the moment that you can almost hear the laughter in the photo.
I see such beauty in all the fleeting moments of time and I've carried that perspective with me into my adult life, especially since becoming a mother. Entwined Photography is a Family, Newborn and Maternity lifestyle photographer based in Havant, Hampshire and serves areas in and around Havant, Hayling Island, Portsmouth, Waterlooville, Fareham, Rowlands Castle and Chichester.