Golden hour (the last hour or so before the sun goes down) is the most ideal time for outdoor family photography sessions if you love that pleasant soft light look in my portfolio. In the late spring and early summer, the sun sets late so your session start time tends to be right around the time you are usually starting your little one’s bedtime routine. This can seem stressful to parents– how can you get good family photos when golden hour is at bedtime?? But have no fear! Here are some great tips to make sure you have a wonderful session despite the late hour.
1. Take a deep breath!
Frazzled parents = frazzled baby
Calm parents = calm baby
2. Start doing a slightly later bedtime a few days beforehand so it’s not such an extreme diversion from their routine on the day of the session.
No need for a permanent bedtime change, but doing this will help your baby to adjust for the evening of the session.
3. On the day of the session, push the afternoon nap 30 minutes later than usual.
This will help us get a little extra happy awake time at the end of the day. Don’t plan any other energy-filled things like playdates or doctors appointments that will have your little one run down before we even start.
4. Bring easy snacks (aka bribes).
Puffs, cheerios, mini marshmallows– non-messy things like these can be beneficial if kiddo is feeling fussy and needs a distraction. No one likes to be hangry!
5. Pack pajamas in the car for after the pictures are done.
This will hopefully simplify your transition to the crib when you get home late, since they’ll already be ready for bed.
6. Nursing or having a bottle during the session is absolutely okay!
Sometimes you just need a little extra milk to get you through! Not only does this make baby happier and calmer, but will make for some lovely intimate photos.
7. Embrace the moments that happen.
So many expressions are worth remembering, not just the perfect smiles. Sleepy snuggles will tug at your heartstrings too!
Now go back re-read the first step one more time, then trust that your photographer knows how to capture the right energy during your golden hour family photo session. I’ve worked with countless families, babies, toddlers, kids. All sorts of moods, personalities, and feelings. We will make magic together on our sunset adventure!