What time of day is best for a family photography session in Melbourne?


What is the best time of day to take photos outside ?

sunset family photography sessions and a guide to session start times in Melbourne

Summer is finally here!! Well...to be fair, this is Melbourne, so as usual our summer is 50% wet and cold …but that other 50%, man is it beautiful!  I’ve been loving any opportunity to get out and do family photography sessions outdoors as the weather warms up and the sunsets are absolutely magical!

Obviously with daylight savings over summer, the days are long and sunset is getting later and later - which means the time we would plan to start one of these family photo sessions is right around our little peoples bedtimes !

Now, believe me when I tell you that I can 100% relate to any reluctance in wanting to mess with your kids bedtime. By 5pm, I'm often counting down the SECONDS until I can put the kids in bed (ok, fine, sometimes I'm counting down from like 8am...). But TRUST ME, for one night...it really and truly is worth it!!  The light during golden hour… well, there is something just magical about it, it is so soft and flattering (which means you look your absolute best with no harsh shadows or squinty eyes) and it also gives your images this WOW factor that no other back drop can produce !

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the fun factor

"But Jess!", I hear you say, "my kids usually go to bed at 7:30pm and you're trying to tell me we should start a family photo session then!? Are you crazy!? They will be miserable, impossible to deal with, it will be a disaster. The end".

Oh, I hear you, and they are completely justified concerns, but I would say this - the chances are, your kids are actually going to be pretty damn excited to be going out and about (on an adventure, because that’s what you’re going to tell them we’re doing OK!?) when they are normally getting ready for bed. Plus, I’m going to make sure you’re doing lots of FUN stuff together, stuff that your little one LOVES to do … so I find that generally, the novelty factor often seems to be enough to perk kids up for as long as we need.

Have a look at this sunset beach session I did earlier this year and you can see how much FUN my sessions can be !

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footscray park family photography session
family photographers melbourne

preparation - snacks and naps

In saying all that, it is definitely still best to try and prepare your kids a little bit in the lead up to your family photography session. If your little one is still napping - it can be helpful to try and put them down for their nap a little later in the day to try and stretch them out for longer in the evening.

Also, bring plenty of drinks and snacks along to the session as I always allow time for breaks whenever we need ! 

Toys that they love (including bubbles) are great to have as a secret weapon – BUT (and this is a big but!) I recommend to try and keep these hidden until towards the end of the session unless we *really* need them earlier. Because generally once little people get their hands on bubbles/toys - they tend to not want to give them up again, so this either results in -
a) tears if you try to take them off them to do more photos
or
b) big ted is in the rest of your family photos

best time of day for family photography session
family photographer in melbourne

Not sold ? That’s OK! You have options!!

The above advice obviously does not apply to all kids!!

I generally do not recommend we do outdoor sessions for newborn babies (there are a number of reasons for this, but one of the main reasons being that newborns have got themselves a bit of a reputation for being a weeeeee bit unsettled later in the day).

Also, babies under the age of 1 are less likely to be entertained by activities and adventures later in the evening as toddler or older kids might be and I completely understand that for some other little ones, going out at or after bedtime is just impossible, so in those cases, you have three other excellent options – 

footscray park photography

1) Sunrise


If your kids are like mine and are generally up before the sun, this option might not be as mortifying as it sounds. Get your clothes ready and snacks packed the night before, give the kids some toast in the car and you could be all finished and ready to go out for a family breakfast by 8am!

If you’re not convinced by the sunrise idea - perhaps check out this recent sunrise session so you can see just how beautiful they can be !

footscray park family photography
family photography in melbourne

 2) In home session


If the idea of getting up at sunrise or staying up for sunset just does not appeal no matter what I say - that’s OK!!! An in home session might be PERFECT for you and they are such a wonderful way of capturing your true everyday lives - in home sessions have a special place in my heart as there is nowhere in the world that you are more relaxed and more comfortable than in your own home. You can get a bit more of an idea of what an in home session with me looks like by checking out these recent sessions -

Preparing for you in home family photography session
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In home family maternity photography session

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3) Wait

If your heart is set out an outdoor session but your parent intuition tells you that there is just no way your kids will cope with the early morning/later night – waiting until Autumn is a great alternative! Mid March/early April is a beautiful time of year for family photos as the days are often still pretty warm, but the sunrises much later and sunsets much earlier – meaning that the start time of sessions feel muuuuuch more reasonable!

This session was done at the end of March at sunrise …you can see for yourself just how magical the light is at this time of year!

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Guide to outdoor family photography session start times in Melbourne

As all of my outdoor sessions are shot at either sunrise or sunset. To give you a bit of a better idea of what sort of start time you might expect for your outdoor family photography session with me, I have put together this helpful guide. Please note this is a guide only, and we will chat about a specific start time for you once we have confirmed a date for your session.


Summer
Sunrise session- might start anywhere from 5:45am to 6:45am
Sunset session- might start anywhere from 6:45pm- 7:45pm

Autumn
Sunrise session- might start anywhere from 6:30am to 7:30am
Sunset session - might start anywhere from 4:15pm- 6:30pm

Winter

Sunrise session- might start anywhere from 6:45am to 7:30am
Sunset session - might start anywhere from 3:45pm- 4:30pm

Spring
Sunrise session- might start anywhere from 6am to 6:45am
Sunset session - might start anywhere from 4:45pm- 7pm


melbourne family photographer
family photo session in melbourne

I hope this helps to give you a bit of a better understanding of why scheduling your outdoor session for sunrise or sunset is SO important and how you can make this easier on you and your little ones!

If you have any questions at all or would like to book in your own sunset family photography session, please get in touch - I would love to hear from you and chat more about how we can plan and capture an unforgettable family adventure together !


If you’re interested in keeping up to date with all the latest updates, discounts and photography tips/tricks - I would love for you to sign up to my mailing list! There is a discount in there JUST for subscribing!

How to choose the best location for your family photography session - Melbourne Family Photographer

One of the top questions clients ask me when booking their family photography session is “where should we have our session!?" and so it's made me think about the things I look for in a great location and I thought I would share my thoughts about it, here.

The four main points that I think about when trying to decide on a location are - 

SIGNFICANCE
DISTRACTIONS
PRIVACY
VARIETY

 

I'll chat a bit more about each of these points below, so please read on. 

Sometimes it's worthwhile venturing a little further out of the city for your family photography session - this session took place on the Mornington Peninsula

Sometimes it's worthwhile venturing a little further out of the city for your family photography session - this session took place on the Mornington Peninsula

SIGNIFICANCE

Think about places you go with your family and things you do together that are important and meaningful to you.   Do you guys love to go for adventures in the forest together on weekends?  Do you spend every evening in summer at the beach ? Do you visit your local café  so regularly that they no longer even ask you for your order?  Having your family photography session in a spot that is special to you and already holds its own memories in your heart are going to make your images just that much more treasured in the years to come!   

family lifestyle photography

DISTRACTIONS -

While it’s wonderful to choose a spot that has significance to you, it is also important to think about how practical the space is going to be for the purposes of a photo session. For example, if you want to do your session at your local park, but the only time you guys ever visit that particular park is for your toddler to play at the playground there, how do you think they will cope when we arrive and tell them they can’t play on the playground and that we’re going to go and do some photos instead!? If they’re anything like my kids, that probably won’t go down so well #tantrumcentral !!!  For that reason, I do try to avoid parks that have playgrounds, because once your toddler sees that, they’re never going to forget about it and you probably didn’t book a professional photographer to get 100x photos of your toddler going down the slide !  

mornington peninsula family photography

PRIVACY

Chances are, unless you’re a professional model, you’re probably not SUPER comfortable in front of the camera !! One thing that I think really helps during your photo session is picking a location that isn’t always packed full with people so you don’t feel like you are being watched by a group of 50 curious onlookers.  Crowded areas with lots of people can make it that much more difficult to relax! For example, inner city parks and beaches on a sunny afternoon = top destination for 99% of Melbournians ***!!  In summer, I try to schedule beach sessions for the morning when they tend to be quieter or I suggest that we venture a little further to some of the quieter beaches further out that have just a little more space.  I also suggest we avoid the really popular/well known parks and opt for quieter spots that are just as (if not more) photogenic !

(***completely made up statistic...from time to time I like to exaggerate to make my point)

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VARIETY -

OK, so you were thinking that the park across the road from your house has some nice greenery on the very far right hand side of said park….BUT it is bordered by roads / houses and/or car parking that is slightly less photogenic…. Because you see, the thing about my photo sessions is there is no WAY I am going to get you all to stand in once place for the entire time !  We are going to be moving around, your kids will be running around / playing and so if the location isn’t versatile enough, you’ll end up with a big bright blue station wagon in the background that is going to be distracting and take away from your images !!  As you can see from this session, the locations we shot at had SO.MUCH.VARIETY – it didn’t matter where we turned or what direction we were facing, it was all just so beautiful and that to me, is the ultimate test of a location !!

melbourne natural and fun family photography

A few final thoughts

- My outdoor sessions are always scheduled to coincide with sunrise or sunset, the time of day we photographers refer to as "golden hour". This is when the light is beautiful, flattering and well, just generally pretty damn magical !! The times of sunset and sunrise obviously change quite a lot during the year and it's not always the most convenient time when you have young children - but I can promise you, that for just this one day, it is 100000% worth the small disruption to their routine! 

- Pack lightly for outdoor sessions - please leave your pram in the car and handbags/sunglasses etc. at home ! We're going to be moving around a lot during your session and the last thing we want to have to worry about is moving bags/prams out of the shot. 

- Given we live in Melbourne, there is always the possibility that mother nature will have other plans for our desire to be outside on the day your shoot is scheduled - if the weather is looking dicey, I generally suggest we hold off making the decision to reschedule until the day of the session as the forecast can be so changeble. But we definitely won't be shooting in the rain ! 

- We live in an absolutely BEAUTIFUL part of the world, with endless natural beauty to discover! Of course we can find gorgeous spots close to home, but if you're up for an adventure, let me know and I'm always SOO excited to travel a little further out and explore new places!! 
 

So, there you have it, my top tips for choosing your outdoor location for your next family photography session.   Would you add any others to the list ? 
 

I would LOVE to know what your dream photo location in or around Melbourne would be.  Feel free to leave me a comment and let me know.  If you would like to book in your own family photography session, please get in touch and let's make some magic together ! 

Also, I couldn't help myself but do a big ol' overshare of this gorgeous recent family session on the Mornington Peninsula, only a short drive from Melbourne.

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outdoor family photography melbourne
lifestyle family photography in melbourne
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beautiful in home family photography melbourne

Arabella - Melbourne Newborn Photographer

natural lifestyle newborn photography session

This sweet family welcomed their newborn baby girl into the world recently, and we spent a morning together capturing alllll the love in their beautiful Melbourne home.  One of the things I love so much about in home sessions, is that it's such a safe and comfortable environment for older siblings and it really allows for their ADORABLE personalities to shine.... allow me to make my point with the images below!!! 

Don't worry, I'm not going to bore you with words this week, total overshare of photos instead !! #GIVETHEPEOPLEWHATTHEYWANTJESS

camberwell newborn photographer melbourne
melbourne newborn lifestyle photographer
yarraville newborn photographer 
seddon lifestyle newborn and family photographer
bayside newborn photographer

 

Jess Worrall is a lifestyle newborn and family photographer based in Melbourne. Jess specialises in natural, relaxed and unposed photography. Jess sometimes likes to speak in the 3rd person, but generally just for blogging purposes, so please don't be too put off by that (I tend to not do it in real life).  From a business sense, it would be remiss of me not to add a little bit here about if you were wanting to book your own newborn or family session, that you should absolutely get in contact with me and we chat about any questions you may have !! Allow me to insert a handy little link to my contact form, to make your life that little bit easier!! 

Williamstown Sunset Family Photography Session

Summer is finally here!! Well...to be fair, this is Melbourne, so winter could easily be back again tomorrow, but for now, we've had a run of beautiful weather and I've been LOVING all of my recent sunset family photo sessions in and around Melbourne ! 

Obviously with daylight savings over summer, the days are long and sunset is getting later and later - which means the time we would plan to start one of these sessions is right around our little peoples bedtimes ! Now, believe me when I tell you that I 100% get the reluctance in wanting to mess with your kids bedtime. By 5pm, I'm counting down the SECONDS until I can put the kids in bed (ok, fine, sometimes I'm counting down from like 8am...). But TRUST ME, for one night...it really and truly is worth it!!  The light during that golden hour, well there is something just magical about it, it is soft and flattering which means you look your absolute best with no harsh shadows or squinty eyes!

"But Jess!", I hear you say, "my kids usually go to bed at 7:30pm and you're trying to tell me we should start a family photo session then!? Are you crazy!? They will be miserable, impossible to deal with, it will be a disaster. The end".

Oh, I hear you, and they are completely justified concerns, but I would say this - the chances are, your kids are actually going to be pretty damn excited to be going out and about (on an adventure, because that’s what you’re going to tell them we’re doing OK!?) when they are normally getting ready for bed. Plus, I’m going to make sure you’re doing lots of FUN stuff together, stuff that your little one LOVES to do … so I find that generally, the novelty factor often seems to be enough to perk kids up for as long as we need.

In saying that, it’s best to try and prepare them a little bit in the lead up and it can be helpful to try and give them later naps on the day of our photography session just to help stretch them out a bit. Also, bring plenty of drinks and snacks along to the session as I always allow time for breaks whenever we need !  Toys that they love (including bubbles) are great to have as a secret weapon – but I prefer to try and keep these hidden until towards the end of the session unless we *really* need them earlier.

This advice obviously does not apply to all kids – and I completely understand that for some little ones, going out at or after bedtime is just impossible, so in those cases, you have two other GLORIOUS options - 

1) Sunrise
If your kids are like mine and are generally up before the sun, this option might not be as mortifying as it sounds. Get your clothes ready and snacks packed the night before, give the kids some toast in the car and you could be all finished and ready to go out for a family breakfast by 8am!

2) In home session
If neither of those options appeal, then a in home session might be perfect for you and has many benefits ! Check out the blog post I wrote about in home photography sessions with me here

Here is a little snippet of a gorgeous, sun filled family photography session that I did recently just before sunset in Williamstown, which will hopefully convince you that it really is worth it - and if it does convince you - please get in touch and let's chat about planning your own session!

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