Get the Perfect Family Photo! Find Out When to Schedule Your Shoot


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Get the perfect family photo, when to schedule your shoot

It’s that time of year again! Time to start thinking about scheduling your family’s annual holiday photo shoot with a family photographer NI. But with busy schedules, deciding when to book the photographer can be tough. Here are some tips to help you find the perfect time for your family photo shoot. One of the best things about photography is that there is no “one perfect time” to take pictures. While golden hour – the hour just after sunrise or before sunset – can be stunning, it’s not always the best time to take photos.


  • You want to schedule your family photo shoot at least two weeks in advance. This will give you time to get everyone together and find your ideal location, generally the further away you plan the portrait the more time you will have to plan the look you want.

  • I offer a variety of packages, take some time to decide what you want. You may find that certain packages offer more bang for your buck than others and will suit what you want as a final product.
  • Check the weather forecast before setting up a date and time. If it’s going to rain on the day you want to schedule your shoot, consider rescheduling or finding an indoor location (such as your home or local ).
  • Try to have a good idea of what you want your photos to look like before you start planning your portrait. This will help you find someone whose style is similar to yours and who can deliver the results you’re looking for.
  • Be sure to check your photographer’s portfolio before booking. Pick a few images that you like and ask the photographer if they could recreate those shots for your session. 
  • Schedule a consultation with your photographer before booking so that you can go over details such as where and when your shoot will take place, what types of poses you want, what props might be used, etc.

Relaxed family photography in iconic northern ireland spots

What time of day is best for family photos?

The best time of day to take family photos is when there’s good light. That means it’s generally easier to get amazing portraits in the morning or late evening than midday. If you’re going to have your photos taken at the beach, the shade may be hard to find which will result in the photos being taken with the sun behind you so you are not squinting. You can also take advantage of natural backdrops like sand dunes or trees along shorelines if they are available. It may be better to plan them earlier in the day when there are fewer people around (sunrise). If you plan on doing them later in the day, however, try to time it so that the tide doesn’t cut you off. You may also want to consider doing your family photos at a park, on a boardwalk, or even in your backyard. These are all great alternatives that will give you much more control over lighting and surroundings but may still give you some beautiful backdrops of trees and flowers. The best time for family photos at the beach is when there’s good light. That means it’s generally easier to get a good photo in the morning or late afternoon than midday. You can also take advantage of natural backdrops like sand dunes or trees along shorelines if they are available.

What is golden hour?

Golden hour light makes for beautiful photos, It is a time when light is soft and warm, which makes it perfect for taking photos of people, but it doesn’t last long and it’s not always available. The best times for photography are in the morning or late afternoon when there is more natural light. The golden hour is a time of day when the sun is low in the sky. It happens twice a day, at sunrise and at sunset. Despite the name, it can last longer than an hour depending on where you are on the earth and what time of year it is. Because the sun is low in the sky, shadows are softer, and the angles and lengths are more flattering. As the name implies, the warm colours are more prominent at this time of day, which gives a flattering look to portraits.

Why is the best time not golden hour itself?

I have been a family photographer for over 10 years and I love my job. I love the fact that I get to spend time with my clients, capture moments in their lives, and make portraits of the golden hour is a great time to make portraits, but there are a few reasons why you are probably better off focusing on the time immediately after morning golden hour, or immediately before golden hour.

  • During summer golden hour is either very early or very late for children, or at other times in the year the golden hour is the time when everyone is just getting home from work and school and you’re trying to get dinner on the table. It’s also when the kids are tired and ready for bed. But there are ways to make this time work for you and your family.
  • Golden Hour as the name suggests is a short period any day, if you’re planning your shoot outdoors, you’ll need to be quick. Second, the quality of light during golden hour can be quite variable. It all depends on the weather and where you are in the world.
  • If you’re lucky enough to have clear skies and warm weather, then the golden hour will be incredible. But if it’s cloudy or cold, the light won’t be as good. That’s why it’s important to check the forecast before heading out to shoot.

Of course, ultimately the best time to take photos is whenever you have the time and the light is right for the kind of photo you want to take. So don’t worry too much about finding that perfect golden hour light – just get a date in the diary and get out there and enjoy some family time.

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