Seasons change: The best times for photo sessions (by month of the year)
When clients reach out to me about a portrait session, one of the first questions that they tend to ask, other than where should the session be, is this: what time of day is best for our session?
Before reading this post, know that the answer to this question is not as simple as when the light is best. I am only going to touch on lighting and temperature here, but you need to take into account the dynamics of your family when planning a session time and communicate those things to your photographer ahead of time. For kids, consider planning around nap times and meals. For adults, plan around meals as well, but also take into consideration games or sports that you love to watch or times that you feel your best!
Sessions typically take place two hours before sunrise and after sunset depending on weather. If it is a bit cloudy, this can shift by an hour or two to allow for a bit more soft, even light! This list is for those living in the Southeast where I reside. Keep in mind that these times change depending on location not the globe! With that, here are my recommendations on the best times for a photo session:
Summer can be hot here in GA, so I try to stick to times when it is cooler in temperature as well as light. Summer light is bright, bold and beautiful and has a warmth that makes me think of sunshine!
June: 6:30-9:30 AM and 6:30-8:30 PM
July: 6:30-8:30 AM and 6:30-8:30 PM
August: 7:00-9:00 AM and 6:30-8:30 PM
The time changes drastically during these three months, more than any other time of the year! Fall light is warm, rich, and golden, this is one of the reasons people tend to love their Fall portrait sessions most. The golden light is just so pretty!
September: 7:30-9:30 AM and 5:30-7:30 PM
October: 8:00-10:00 AM and 5:00-7:00 PM
November: 7:00-9:00 AM and 3:00-5:00 PM
During December through Mid-March, sessions typically take place in the later morning and early afternoon. However, the time changes in Mid-March and so that will make the start time one hour later. Winter light is cool, sometimes harsh but usually very even.
December: 7:30-9:30 AM and 3:00-5:00 PM (sometimes 2:00-4:00 PM)
January: 8:00-10:00 AM and 3:00 - 5:00 PM
February: 7:00-9:00 AM and 3:00-5:00
March: 7:00-9:00 AM and 3:00-5:00
The sunset time drastically changes throughout the course of these two months and so our shooting times change as well! Spring light is fresh, delicate, and can sometimes have a little bit of a haze to it as the pollen starts to fall.
April: 7:30-9:30 AM and 5:30 - 7:30 PM
May: 6:45-8:45 AM and 6:00 - 8:00 PM
With that, here are some beautiful images of the Hughes family this summer in Athens, GA. This session was at about 8:30 in the morning!