Have you ever taken some photos on a nice, sunny day and wondered why they don’t look great? Few people know that there are actually ideal times of the day for photography, where you will get better images. The next time you are planning a children’s photography session, try to schedule it for the following times of day:
Your kids are up anyways, so why not head out for some lovely photos in the first light of day? The warm, soft light and long shadows let you create some really interesting compositions. Best yet, think of all the stuff that you’ll get done since you’re already up and out of the house!
Extra Tip: Although cooler, fall is a great time for this type of children’s photography. The sun comes up at a bit more reasonable time, and the colors are glorious!
For the most part you should be able to take decent photos until about midday; however, this type of light is usually better for landscapes than for portraits. If you do take images of people at this time of day, put the sun behind the camera but not shining directly on the subject’s face (so you don’t get squinty eyes).
In the afternoon you’ll get a bit warmer light than in the morning, which is preferable for portrait photography. Again, try not to let the sun shine directly into their faces, just off to the side is perfect. If you still find the sun a bit too bright, find a location that filters out the sunlight, such as in the trees or around the side of a brick building.
If you don’t have morning risers in your family then aim for just before and after sunset for some soft, warm light to give you great tones and highlights. At both sunrise and sunset you can experiment with silhouettes – placing the sun behind your subjects for lovely outlines.
As you’ve probably noticed, midday is not mentioned, primarily because it is really not a good time to be taking photos – particularly of people. The harsh, cool light of midday combined with overhead shadows tends to not compliment faces, which is why it is best avoided. If you are stuck at midday you can try to find a shady location or make the best of it. Alternatively, use midday for embarking on some action children’s photography and get some shots of your kids having fun, rather than focusing on their faces. Of course, on cloudy or overcast days it doesn’t matter where the sun is as the clouds will diffuse the sun’s rays, making cloudy days a good time for kid’s portrait photography!