What's the best time of year for outdoor family portraits?

03rd July 2016
One of the wonderful things about the UK is we have very distinct seasons, so our world changes every few months. Admittedly the rain sometimes feels like it's a constant companion, but over the course of a year I only have a handful of sessions rained off.

I spend a lot of time exploring the countryside around Peterborough and I've discovered a lot of great photography locations. Different places are better at different times of the year. Let's start our journey in the winter and move through the buffet of photographic delights that Peterborough's countryside has to offer throughout the year...

Family portraits in winter
Most people think this would be a bad time of year to have outdoor family portraits created, but it actually has a few perks.
The biggest benefit is the sun never rises very high in the sky. This means you get beautiful golden sunlight all day long. Plus, you get sunsets at 4pm rather than 10pm, so the kids don't have to stay up lay for the best light.

Admittedly it's often cloudy in the winter, but cloud is actually fantastic for portrait photography too. It provides soft, flattering light that's not too harsh and doesn't cast nasty shadows on your face.
Cloud also means you don't have to be restricted to shady spots - you can have your portraits created anywhere and still have that nice, soft light that the clouds produce.

Bluebells and rape fields
The spring brings us one of the best portrait locations in the whole year - bluebell woods. I know several around the Peterborough area - including some that most people don't know about so they're nice and secluded.

Bluebells don't just add a splash of colour, they also help to create depth in the photograph. I use my camera settings to help blur the bluebells in the foreground and background to give the images a lovely soft focus effect. Bluebells only last about a month from April to May.
The bright yellow Rape fields we have all around us in May are another good option for portraits. They don't tend to offer much shade though, so they're best on cloudy days or when the sun is setting to avoid that harsh sunlight.

Poppy fields
In the summer we have poppies burst into bloom. Poppies don't tend to be in the same field for more than one year though, so I'm often driving around looking for new poppy locations each year. Just like bluebells and rape fields they add depth and a splash of summery colour.

Wheat fields
I've not actually done any families in a wheat field, although I have photographed a bride and groom and done and engagement session in one. The texture and shimmering waves of the wheat are a great way of adding extra depth, dynamism and flow to your portraits.

Family portraits in the summer holidays
This is one of the times of the year when the whole family has time to relax and be together without work or school commitments. This makes it the perfect time to finally get round to your family photographs. It's so easy to put them off, until it's too late.

Autumn leaves
This is one of the most popular times of the year for family portraits. The textures and colours coupled with the low golden sun we get in late Autumn make a great combination.

Plus, with Christmas not far away it means you can use the photographs as ideal presents. Particularly for the 'tricky to buy for' Granny!
Ultimately, a good family portrait photographer can create lovely images any time of the year. The important thing is that you get some created NOW. My dad passed away many years ago and I wish I had more than a few small, fading snaps of him. Photographs are the first thing most people would rescue from a fire because they get more and more precious over time. And don't worry, I'll make the session fun and you'll wonder why you didn't do it years ago.

Give me a call on 0792 358 3658 to bounce around a few ideas with me. Let's create some happy memories together!

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