Palo Alto Maternity Photographer
Today I’d like to talk about something very important when it comes to planning your session. I feel like often people think the best season for family pictures is Fall. In this post I’ll show you how particular locations change with seasons.
How to plan your photo session based on the knowledge about the seasonal changes in nature (photo locations) in our area.
In California, the Spring starts early. When most of the country experiences their first blooms, our blooming trees are already in the next phase. Most of the country has longer lasting green grass. We start to loose it around May. Our grass turns brown pretty early. When it comes to Fall, it also doesn’t last long. The rain starts, and it’s hard to plan anything if you’re not willing to have fun in the rain, or your kids are too small for getting a little wet.
So, what is the best season for family pictures?
(This post is my personal opinion)
1. Locations look the best in Spring. (in my humble opinion)
In my opinion it’s Spring, which means right now. We are actually getting close to the blooming season. So, if you’d like session in beautiful orchards you better contact your favorite photographer and ask him/her to squeeze you for a session within the next 3 weeks.
Often, people don’t want to do their sessions in Spring because they think it’s too early in the year, and they want to wait. However, later in the year, it’s hard to find lush green hills and fields. The only green places are public parks, surrounded by suburban homes, and play structures, and crowded with people. With all that it’s hard to get beautiful images with nothing distracting in the background, without a heavy photoshop work (which in my case, and the case of other photographers costs extra).
As a professional I do know locations that have blooms all year long, or green grass for that matter. There isn’t many of those and they are most likely filled with other families and their photographers, which is not always the most relaxing and pleasant experience.
2. The weather is gorgeous in Spring.
In Spring the sunset is around 7 pm (before the daylight savings time it’s 6 pm and earlier), so if you have small kids who have an early “nigh nigh” schedule, the current season is the way to go.
It’s getting warm enough for lighter clothes. Still, not overwhelming hot for kids and parents, or grandparents.
3. Your favorite photographer is not crazy busy in Spring.
You might not know, but most photographers (as well as other business owners), call the time after Christmas a dry season.
People go on vacation.
People are recovering from all the Christmas expenses.
People think it’s too cold or there isn’t any good place to take photos in February (WRONG!)
Whatever the reason, choosing a session in February, March or April means you will have more dates to choose from (that’s my guess, of course, based on my own business).
The later in the year, the more busy photography business becomes. Fall is the worst! Often you will have to work around the photographer’s busy schedule not the other way around.
4. The late morning or mid-day sessions have prettier results (Spring vs Summer).
Knowing how hard it is to work around the schedule of my clients’ Little Ones, I am always available to do sessions in mid-day. Many photographers don’t do that because they do not work with mid-day light. (won’t go into the reasons, as each photographer has different).
Of course, the results of a late morning or mid-day sessions are different from sunset sessions (so called golden hour sessions). But because the sun is not so overwhelming and often the sky is covered with clouds in Spring, the mid-day sessions seems to be very pretty. (in my opinion!)
5. Occasional rain means you have to be ready to be spontaneous with the date of your session.
If you’re one of those people who have to have everything planned 2 months ahead, session in Spring might not be the best way to go. Since we’re still getting some rain now and then, scheduled dates are never certain. As much as doing sessions in the rain is adventurous and fun, I know that not everybody enjoys it as much as I do.
Here is a visual calendar for whole year of locations
January – Rain, and cold (mostly in home sessions)
That doesn’t mean they have to be gloomy and boring 😉
and the same tree several moths later:
Let’s go back to March/April
June / July / August
September / October
November / December
Now, most of the locations I’ve shown you in this post are secluded from public and crowds. I do like, and always highly recommend picking locations that don’t have anything that would distract kids (like the playground). If your goal is to have SUPER LIFESTYLE session with playtime documented, then the playground is definitely okey.
As one of my clients pointed out to me when I told her about the idea of this post, I was able to find a lush, green location for her in July. However, this was a public park, and during our session, we had people with their kids approaching us to play with our bubbles until we had to tell them to stop doing it.
So, this is why I try to avoid public parks as often as I can. With suburban homes and bathrooms and playground structures, it’s pretty hard to create a beautiful image without distracting things in the background.
This is why I spend countless hours on locations scouting. This is why I carefully pick my locations I recommend to my clients.
In my opinion best season for family pictures is Spring. As you might have noticed scrolling through the Spring locations provided in this post, the possibilities are amazing, colorful, and so vibrant. However, I know that each season has it’s own unique beauty.
The important thing is to be aware of what you want and what you like. It is also very important to communicate to your photographer the vision you have for your session. During all the years of my work I’ve found out that people who clearly state what they want, what is their vision for the session are more likely to be very happy with what I create for them.
If you like me, and see beauty in each season. I have the right solution for you:
Sign up for my membership and get access to up to 4 mini-sessions (or 2 full sessions) within 12 months from signing up:
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The location is just gorgeous right now. Check it out here!!
If you still don’t believe me, go to my FB and check out the last several sneak-peeks from my very recent sessions. It just couldn’t be any greener. The sessions right now, are simply stunning! FUN for the kids, because they can run barefoot! Roll in the grass. With the light being so gorgeous in Spring, it really doesn’t what time of the day you have your session done.
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Doing Maternity Portraits Session might not seem like the best idea when you don’t feel like doing anything else but munch on pickles and chocolate…
However… I’ve spoke and worked with so many mamas, sad and disappointed, because of this one decision. Especially new mamas. The changes that happen in a woman’s body during her pregnancy are not always the most pleasurable. Lets admit that. Every woman is different and each of us goes through and experience pregnancy differently.
However… These changes, later in woman’s life will be the most precious discussion starters with the little ones. I’ve experienced that first handed.
I used to have few of my pregnancy pictures showcased on our walls. My kids would talk about them all the time. The dissuasions they were having were simply priceless.
It’s also so wonderful to be able to look back at those days. To look back through beautiful photographs of your growing family. Pregnancy is a big part in this process, and you really shouldn’t skip documenting it.
Find the right photographer. There is plenty of fish in the sea these days. You can find someone whose style you truly like and with whom you’d like to work on documenting those precious fleeting moments. Don’t pick your husband. PLEASE! Don’t say, you can do your own documenting because it’s really not the same.
Treat yourself to something special, because you deserve it. Within a few months your life will turn upside down, and you think you feel tired now… Wait… Just wait till the lil one gets here. You think, you don’t look (and feel) beautiful enough while being pregnant… Wait… Just wait till you barely have the time to get in the shower ONCE A WEEK.
Because of the different experiences in how we go through our pregnancies, I would highly recommend not to wait till the very end to create your maternity portraits. I know, that often women are advised to wait till their last 2 months to do the session because of the very big belly and dramatic look it helps to create.
However, if you see your belly growing enough for being noticeable pregnant, go for it right then… If your pregnancy is especially difficult and uncomfortable do it as soon as you can, too. Especially if you’re on the edge of not being sure about the whole thing. In my case, the last two months of my both pregnancies I wanted nothing but pickles washed down with Sprite, fuzzy warm socks on my feet and a good tv show. I looked nothing like this gorgeous mama I worked with two months ago, but I was lucky enough to have a photographer friend who took some wonderful images of my pregnant self, and I cherish those pictures to these days.
Now off I go to finish working on this gorgeous family’s newborn video, and a new post from their newborn session. And it’s all just precious!!!
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For some reason, I think I have been one lucky photographer. While I constantly learn new things about how to pose my clients, how to engage kids more, how to make dads more involved in the session, more often than not I do not have to use this knowledge with my clients. Why? Because my clients are awesome! As soon as I take my camera out they do what they are best at – they are themselves.
This maternity session was amazing. While I was preparing my gear and thinking what I want to begin with, I wasn’t paying much attention to what was going on behind me. Then I turned to get the session started and what I saw was a family already striking an awesomely funny pose. They were more ready then I was because they took me by surprise. lol
If you’d like to schedule a session with me, please email to ewasamples(at)gmail.com
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Hope to hear from you soon,