Location, location, location
- Choose a location that has shady area to work within, e.g. a park with lots of tree cover, woodland area, or the shadow side of a large building, e.g. church or barn, etc.
- In my experience, sunny days are not a good option for photographing toddlers because they like to play and run around and may find it difficult to remain within the confines of a shaded area! An overcast day may provide a more suitable option for families with young active children.
Overcast days produce nice even light because the cloud cover acts like a large, natural softbox (see photo above).
- Overcast days are really good for shooting outdoor portraiture because the clouds filter the sunlight softly and evenly making it much less contrasty than direct sunlight and provides a nice even light. However, if your session has total cloud cover, it may be necessary to use flash photography at your session. If you wear reflector glasses, you may wish to remove them for your portrait or use a pair of glasses with the lenses popped out to avoid glare or you may wish to chat to your optician about the possibility of 'borrowing' a pair without lenses for your session and returning them afterwards.
This can take place any time from 7.00pm onwards during the summer months and from 3.00pm onwards during winter. Golden Hour is the hour leading up to sunset and it provides some of the most beautiful soft, natural lighting conditions to shoot portraiture in. I can check when the 'golden hour' will take place more precisely on any given day and the good news is, it is possible to do this in advance allowing you to book your session date and time in confidence.
- During Golden Hour the sun is much lower in the sky than during the day time. This in turn produces a soft, even and warm-toned lighting which is excellent for outdoor portraiture.
- Golden Hour is suitable for almost all outdoor locations including wide-open areas, e.g. the beach, a hillside, etc.
- Golden Hour may not be suitable for babies and toddlers due to possible disruption to their bedtime routines! Once again, overcast days may provide a better option for families with younger children.
It's my hope that this information will help you choose a suitable time and location for your session so that you receive optimal results from both. However, if in doubt - please don't hesitate to ask! I am always happy to help and guide you through a list of options and locations to choose from.
If you haven't already done so, I recommend you take a few minutes to read the "Styling Your Session" section which is full of helps and tips if you are unsure what to wear to your photo session, plus more - please click here.
Although I prefer natural light to artificial lighting for outdoor sessions, I may use flash during your photo session depending on the lighting conditions.