Spring is almost here!! Every year around this time I get so excited to start getting outside more and for photography to pick back up again. Yet when I reach March and April expecting people to be scheduling sessions, I usually get crickets instead. Chances are, you've scheduled a fall photo session at some point in your life. Here in the Midwest, it's one of the busiest seasons for a portrait photographer. Family sessions, senior sessions, extended family sessions, engagement sessions; the list goes on! I totally get why people choose the fall for photos, and I've done it myself! The colors are often gorgeous, it's a wonderful reprieve of coolness from the sweltering summer temps, and usually a lot less buggy. Plus, it's usually a way to get a recently updated photo for your yearly Christmas card. But hear me out while I explain some reasons why spring photos, instead of fall, are a GREAT idea!
1. The weather is gorgeous. I know, I know. You're saying, "But Molly, the beautiful weather is a perfectly good reason to choose FALL photos!!" And you're right. HOWEVER, as anyone who has lived in the Midwest more than a year or two knows, both fall and spring weather, though lovely, can also be extremely unpredictable. One day it's in the mid 60s and the next you're pulling out your heavy coats. One day it's raining cats and dogs and the next it's heavenly sunshine. We can always work around this to some extent, but in the spring your chances only get better as the weather is warming up. In fall? If you have photos scheduled in late October and it's 30 degrees on your session day, or worse yet its raining cats and dogs, your chances of getting more favorable weather only decrease, especially since it's an already busy season for photographers and rescheduling gets tricky. Which leads me to number 2.
2. It's a slow(er) season. Because spring is typically a slower season than the fall is for photographers, it's going to be much easier to secure a date that works well for you to have your session. Even wedding photographers' busy seasons usually peak around mid May to early June, so mid to late April and early May can be a great time to schedule a session!
3. Daylight hours are longer. Come fall (especially late fall), the sun starts setting pretty early! If you're scheduling a session in mid to late October, the sun starts setting shortly after six o' clock. That might not sound too bad, but your photographer may want to start the session an hour and a half to two hours before sunset. This means around four o' clock. If you work a regular job, this makes it awfully hard to schedule a session on a week day if need be. Starting in March though, daylight savings time kicks in here in the Midwest, and the sun doesn't set until around seven o'clock. By mid to late April, it's closer to eight o' clock! This allows so much more flexibility during the week for photo sessions.
4. No pre-holiday-stress stressing over photos. The holidays can be busy and stressful enough. Do you really want to start your stressing early by trying to coordinate everyone's schedules for a photo session? I'll pass! By getting your photos done in the spring, you're eliminating one more thing to stress about come pumpkin-spice season. Instead of worrying about a photo session, you can be sipping on that PSL while on a stroll through a downtown that's crawling with photographers and families scrambling for those last minute photos. Or if it's cold, you can watch them from inside the warm and cozy coffee shop.
5. Spring is timeless. Call me weird, but I think spring is more timeless than fall. Does that even make sense? I don't know, but I'm going with it. Personally, I'd rather hang photos that are going to be on my wall year round that show flowers, green grass, and soft, pastel or neutral colors rather than bright orange and yellow leaves and very fall-specific fashion choices. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE fall (I've mentioned many a time that I think it's becoming, or maybe has become, my favorite season). But when it comes to the photos on my wall, give me the spring attire and weather.
Now I know another argument that's probably on your mind, especially if, like me, you have young kids: "I want photos in the fall because I want something recent - my kids change a lot between spring and fall!" Yes, I HEAR you and I feel you! But let's be real, when kids are young they can change a lot in one month! If you're hanging the fall photos on the wall, they will still become quickly outdated with young kids. This is where, if you're wanting updated photos for a Christmas card (or even for your wall), a mini session is a great option! Not all photographers hold mini sessions, but a lot of them do! This can be a great chance to get that one Christmas card photo of everyone looking and smiling at the camera and maybe a few individuals of your kids, time permitting. Then you can still have those spring photos hanging on your wall with those gorgeous flowers and your family interacting with stress-free, joy-filled faces because spring brings LIFE. I don't think you'll regret it ;)
All that being said, if you still love fall and fall photos, you do you! Because it's totally about what you want and love. But don't feel like you have to follow the trend of fall photos either! And hey, if you love winter (and don't have small children), find yourself a photographer who will brave that air-hurts-your-face kinda weather. I would, and I don't even like the cold. Because snow photos are BEAUTIFUL. We live in a place that we can easily find things to complain about (oh wait, everyone lives in a place like that), but we have a LOT of beauty in each of our four seasons. Share the love! But don't just take my word for it. Check out a few photos from one of my very first sessions! Even though I've improved a lot since then, it's still one of my favorite sessions - and it just so happened to be in the spring ;)