family photoshoot

Having a Family Shoot? Think Hard About the Timing of the Sun

Kevin Ryan

When the sun is casting its light on everything just perfectly, it makes everyone and everything look better. The best time of the day to schedule an outdoor family shoot comes about an hour after sunrise or just before sunset. Getting the family photo-ready and on location by 7 am could present a challenge. Having your photos taken within the last hour or so of daylight is ideal for taking full advantage of the best lighting conditions. This time of day is called the Golden Hour for photography. 

Photographers are trained to capture the best images possible in any light, but the soft, golden sunlight cast over everything during the Golden Hour will help make your photos look stunning. Most family sessions can take up to an hour, newborn sessions can be even longer. Getting everyone ready on time and trying to keep younger children from getting tired and cranky before and during the shoot can pose a challenge in the evening. Keeping the kids well-rested and calm is key so you can use this time frame to get the most flattering light for your family photoshoot. 

A cloudy day could hurt your chances of taking advantage of that magical, golden lighting during your session. These photos won’t have a warm glow in the background  Images taken overcast days have a more even tone and a softened look to them. There is less contrast created in the picture when the lighting is softer. Shadows are also less visible in your photos when dark clouds are hiding the sun. Check the forecast before you schedule your family photoshoot. Make sure you schedule a couple of hours earlier if the day is grey and cloudy so you still have enough light. 

Having everyone in a happy and playful mood when getting ready for your  photographer is the ultimate goal. You want everyone to be as calm and relaxed as possible. so you can all look great in your family portraits. Kids can become exhausted easily with the session. We know that if they’re already in a bad mood before you arrive, it will probably be more difficult to draw out and capture those bright, genuine smiles. Kids may become hungry as well. Be sure to pack a snack and think of a few ways to keep them calm and entertained before you leave home for your special shoot.

Overall, your goal is to get photos of your family that you love. You want your images to capture the joy and bond you share. If you want to try for an earlier shoot, the sun sets much earlier in early Fall. If you schedule your family photography session in October or November you can still capture that perfect lighting. For a cold-weather shoot, the sun sets even earlier during the winter months. You might have to dress warmer but you will still end up with stunning photos that capture the sunlight. Be sure to schedule an appointment that takes advantage of that golden glow before it disappears beneath the clouds. The professionals at Create Studioworks can help you choose the perfect time of day for your family photoshoot.