What’s the Best Time of Day for Photos?

I get this question ALL THE TIME and it’s  an easy  a complicated answer.  So here’s my attempt to answer it, once and for all. What’s more fun than answering a question with a question?!  How about more questions?!  Here are THREE questions you can ask yourself before your next photo session. Yes, they are in order of importance!

1. What is the happiest time of day for your kids?  Happy kids are the most important so if bedtime is at 7:30pm let’s not book your sunset session for 8pm. If your kids are teenagers and their happiest time is between 11pm and 2am, I’m sorry, you’re out of luck. It’s dark outside and I will be sleeping. But perhaps an 8pm session will work for you:)

2. What Month is it?  The best time for soft lighting is often the hour or two after sunrise and before sunset. Here are the approximate times for each month.

  • January – Between 8:30am-11:30am and 2:00pm-4:30pm
  • February – 7:30am-10:30am and 3:00pm-5:30pm
  • March – Before Time Change (second Sunday of the month) 7:30am-10:00am and 3:30-6:00pm
  • March After Time Change 8:00am – 10:30am & 5:00pm – 7:30pm
  • April – 6:30am – 9am & 5:30pm – 8:00pm
  • May – 6:00am – 9:30am & 6:00pm – 8:30pm
  • June – 5am – 7:30am & 6:30pm – 9:00pm
  • July – 5:30am- 8:00am & 6:30pm – 9:00pm
  • Aug – 6:00am – 8:30am & 6:00pm – 8:30pm
  • Sept – 7:00am – 10:00am & 5:00pm – 7:30pm
  • October – 7:30am – 10:30am & 4:00pm – 6:30pm
  • November (Time Change first Sunday of the month) 8:00am – 11:00am & 2:00pm – 4:30pm
  • December 8:30am – 11:30am &  1:30pm-4:00pm

3. What do I do if these times don’t work for my family?

Don’t worry. I know most people don’t want to get up for a 6:30am session. And, most little kids aren’t at their happiest at 8pm. Here are some ideas to make almost any time of day work for your family.

  • If you have to book your session at times that are probably going to be sunny (such as July at 1pm or even October at 11:30am) make sure you choose a location that has plenty of shade. This ensures you won’t have squinty eyes and unattractive shadows.
  • If you’re booking your session in a typically cloudy season (such as November) go ahead and book during the middle of the day. Again, just be sure there are shady places if we are lucky enough to get some sunshine.

That was easy, right?!  Okay, not that easy but hopefully this will make scheduling your next session just a little simpler for you. And, because no post is complete without photos, here are some photos showing different seasons and times.

Sunrise fall session. Fog, an added bonus!!

The sunset glow late one fall day.

Cloudy day late fall photos.

A very sunny, late spring day so we choose a place with loads of shade for this precious little lady.

There were high winds for this hot, summer session.  It was late morning so again, we found a place with lots of shade and a little shelter from the wind. As you can see, the wind still got us sometimes 🙂

The golden hour for photography. Summer sunset around 8-9pm

Winter – These next two sessions were in December when the leaves were officially gone. I count this session as winter although it was Dec 1st. It looks like winter so I’m calling it that! The light was low on the horizon at 2:30pm when we did these.

Winter golden hour between 3-4pm.

Now it’s your turn to decide. What’s your favourite season and time of day for a session?  Remember it the next time you plan your family photo session.

Thanks for visiting my page! I am an Abbotsford family, maternity, and newborn photographer. I am based in beautiful British Columbia. If you are interested in booking a photography session please contact me at [email protected] I look forward to hearing from you.

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