So this is a really popular question, I always get asked - especially when it comes to families with littles. Which hey - hello, mom of a 5 year old here, I totally get it!
But the answer to that question is a bit more difficult because the answer really is, it depends on the TYPE of session. So here's the skinny...
Outdoor Family, Couples & Engagement Sessions:
This is by far the style I shoot the most of for clients and honestly it's really what we're known for. Shooting at sunrise or sunset in beautiful, natural locations that channel connection, romance and whimsy in a beautiful, bold setting.
These sessions are always and ONLY shot during sunrise or sunset times by HTM.
So with that, it's important to realize that with Indiana and day light savings time, planning the best time for your session really means the devils are the details.
Think it through for a sec: sunset this year on March 1st will be 6:35pm but in mid June it will be closer to 9:30pm. That's nearly a THREE HOUR window of difference in a 4 month period.
With Indiana and day light savings time, planning the best session time really means the devils are the details
Parent Tip: Juggling Session Times with Small Children's Needs
So what if you want/have to shoot in the summer but you have small kids that are going to be with you? There are a couple of options:
Consider Sunrise Instead: It's true Sunset and Sunrise have similar properties of light, which is why we choose that time of day to shoot. Sure all the adults are IV'ing coffee like our lives depend on it, but most kiddos are a bundle of energy in the mornings and are more willing to work with mom/dad than at the end of the day.
Choose The Best Time Of Year: If there is no way that you or your partner can make a sunrise work, consider what time of year you'll be shooting instead. Spring offers MUCH earlier sunset times than summer, as does fall. Then chat with your photographer about your kiddos routines to find the best fit.
Sunset Sessions With Late Start Times: Maybe mornings aren't your kiddos thing... or maybe your heart is set on a sunset session or you've chosen to shoot during the week. Whatever the reason, if you opt to stick with a late starting session and have young kiddos there are still a few things you can do to work them through it. Consider the following options:
Let them stay up late the night before, for a later rise in the morning (if they are the kind of kiddo this works for. Some do, some don't)
Push nap time back, the day of the session and/or add an extra nap session in.
Do NOT let them fall asleep in the car on the way to the shoot. It may seem like a good idea at the time, but I promise you, it ALWAYS results in a ticked off baby or kiddo when we wake them up to start the session.
Snacks, Snacks, Snacks. Especially the ones they don't usually get to have free reign on. When my kiddo was small, I mean 1.5-3'ish, snacks were KING. She LOVED fruit snacks but only got them as a treat. In shooting the past 5 years I've seen families range in everything from Jelly Beans or M&Ms to Fruit Snacks and Raisins. Just remember to BRING a favorite snack with you and then if you have to use the "let's go get some ice cream after" bribe if need be.
Little extra, extra let's answer "when do you shoot" in regards to what days of the week, shall we?
Typically due to life, childcare and all "the things" I schedule with clients to shoot outdoor sessions for Wednesday Sunsets or Sunday Sunrise/Sunset times. That said, this does vary from time to time but all-in-all it's a good rule of thumb.
Hey You... Let's Be Friends, K?!
Hey there - I'm Chelsea! A coffee worshipping Hoosier native, just trying to raise a kiddo and capture vivid memories in central IN for my families & brides. To see more of our work, make sure to FOLLOW us on Facebook and Instagram & sign up for our VIP club to get first dibs on open session date! Curious about me? Dive into my story of how I flushed my comfortable Fortune 500 Marketing Career to take on the life of a SMB owner at HashTag Memories Photography!
Or maybe the idea of photos stresses you out? Check out this blog post where I get REAL about how shooting a session of my own kiddo taught me how to help YOU mitigate Mommy Session Stress - or this one where we share basic planning tips & FAQs to help set you up for success on your next shoot.