family photos

What is a good time of the day for your (outdoor) portraits?

We receive many requests for outdoor images. A lot of families would like to be photographed on the beach or in a park. We are always happy to add some outdoor images to your shoot (weather permitting). The client can also opt for outdoor only family portraits. You may have a spot that is really special to you.

When it comes to booking a time for an outdoor session, we always recommend to shoot during the “golden hour”. The golden hour is a term for the hour before and just after sunset when the sun is low in the sky and the light is often golden and soft. Many lifestyle product and fashion images are created that time of the day (think about mexican beer ads for example). Images often have a soft glow and the light is flattering.

Earlier in the day, the sun is much higher in the sky and a lot harsher for people photography. Still, stunning fashion images are often created in the full sun, you will just find that the model may wear sunglasses or is closing his/her eyes or looking down. For portraiture, later in the day is preferable.

This applies especially to family portraits taken at the beach, where there is usually no shadow available. Families with young children need to take this into consideration as sunset time is often too late for babies and toddlers to be co-operative and smiling. In winter it is usually around 5-6pm and in summer between 7-8pm.

We often capture images in the park earlier in the day for those clients who do not wish to have a late session but still want outdoor portraits. Trees give some nice shadow and flattering coverage without the harsh contrast of the full sun. The below family portrait was taken during the golden hour at the park.

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What to wear for family portraits?

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I get this question very often when clients book in or inquire about a family portrait shoot. When you invest in professional family portraits you want to get the outfits right. It is important to avoid anything that is very distracting. Avoid patterns, stripes, prints and logos. After all, in gorgeous family portraits that stand the test of time, it is all about the relationship between family members and not about the stripey shirt. The garments can still express your personal style and taste - just as long as they are not very busy. Similar colours also work well in family photos. Try to reduce colours to 2-3 colours maximum for all family members. Variations of the same shade colour also works very well. Check out my family portrait gallery for more examples