In the time that I’ve been in business, I’ve found that my busiest season is the fall. This makes sense because it is right before the holidays when everyone sends out holiday cards updating their friends and family about their lives and on their blossoming family. It’s perfect because fall is such a beautiful season with all the colors and you have current images for your cards. What inevitably happens though is a rush to get a good session time on a weekend when everyone in the family is available and in time to get the images back, cards ordered and sent. As a photographer this also means that right after December everything seems to drop off a bit. I’m not as busy because people don’t “need” images of their family during these seasons.
I completely understand this because we’re all busy and we all are balancing crazy stressful lives with so much on our plates. If you don’t need to send out cards until November/December, then why put a portrait session on your plate now, in the summer? Well there are so many layers to this response so let me start by addressing the card portion first and then the why summer.
What I’ve come to notice with our multiple social media outlets is that many of us, me included, have started to live our lives for others. We’re spending each day sorting through picture after picture of how others are living their lives, what are they doing, who are they with, how pretty or interesting does their 21 minutes ago look? Equally, we are playing into this as well. How many times have we taken pictures of our dinner, drinks, activities, etc just to share with others and join in on this interesting and beautiful existence? Now I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with sharing or that I don’t love these outlets, but what I am saying is that I worry we are doing this to prove something to others and not to enjoy and relish in our own lives. If we only take portraits during the holidays just to send out to others, then we’re missing out on the other 11 months of the year filled with laughter and growth that we might want to keep for ourselves.
So why should we take images if we don’t need to send out cards yet? Simple, for you. Not for others but for you. Not to send out or share but to print and save and keep as memories for the rest of your lives, your children’s lives and your grandchildren’s lives. You’ll have images of how your kids were on any given day, how they love and interact with you and each other. Images that you don’t have to use for anything but your own enjoyment as you relish how great your own life is.
Be selfish, share or don’t share but more importantly, do it for you and to treat yourself into good quality memories. Even if you don’t book a portrait session but you’re using your iphone to take pictures of your kids and each other, don’t just share, print. Sharing on social media is mostly for others to see, but printing and framing is for you and these are your memories.
Now for the second portion of this question: why summer? Here are my reasons why summer is the perfect time to book a portrait session.
1. Schedules – Your kids aren’t in school (and neither I am), if the weekends don’t work because of trips or sports, the weekdays are options now! You don’t have homework or parent/teacher meetings to worry about. This also leads into my second point…
2. Time – Simple put, the days are longer which means more time to take pictures. The best time to get images is right before the sunset. In the winter this means around 3 or 4 o’clock which is awkwardly right in the middle of your day. Forget taking images during the week when you’d have to get off of work early and grab your kids from school and rush over to a session. In the summer though, the sun sets around 8:30pm and there is plenty of time!
3. Weather – We take better pictures when we are comfortable. At 4pm in the winter or even in the spring, it can be cold. Kids will last a little while but eventually they will be done, and if they are cold this will happen much more quickly. In the summer, after 5pm as the sun lowers and the glowy light the temperature is perfect! It is warm enough that you want to be outside and enjoy yourselves!
4. Outdoor Images – I personally prefer to take images outside. I am a natural light photographer, and seeing as I only use my flash when I absolutely have to, I want to be outside with the most beautiful light from the sun. The summer provides more time during the day to get the glowy light that fills images with warmth and beauty. Being outside for sessions lets children be themselves too! When we are inside, most of the time we have to pose them in a specific place, on a specific chair and these are great but they are restricting. When we are outside, they can crawl, run, play and interact without boundaries! Couple sessions benefit from being outdoors as well because there are more backdrops and variety in the images.
5. Variety – The summer is a time to bring people together, to play and be free. You don’t just need to get one image of your family sitting nicely together. You can get images of your family playing in sprinklers, at the beach or the pool, enjoying nature and simply put, living. We can take images of life, best friends, exploring and the joy of being alive.
Let’s recap this exceptionally long blog post. If you don’t need to send out cards until the fall/winter then why should you book a portrait session now, in the summer? Because you’ll want these images for you, not for others, but for you. Lastly, the summer is beautiful, freeing and fun, for you and for your family!