It’s that time of year again! You know you want senior photos but aren’t totally sure when you should take them. I get it.
Do you take them now when it’s warm outside and you’re really excited to start your senior year OR do you wait and take them at the end of the spring closer to graduation?
It really depends on a few things…but mainly it’s the style you’re looking for. The types of locations you like, the style of outfits you want to wear, and what you want to use the photos for.
We can start with the pros and cons of each season, then some other little things to think about and hopefully you’ll have a better idea of when you’ll want to schedule your session!
Even though I usually think about anything after school starting as fall, it’s still technically really summer weather!
There is still a TON of daylight, it’s still warm outside, and you still have a summer tan, which is really important because I cannot make you look tanner in your photos!!
If you want to look summery in your photos, this is going to be your best option. You could technically make summer and fall clothes work because it’s a transition season AND all of the new fall clothes are in the boutiques! If you love flowers, this is also a GREAT time because most of the summer flowers are still in bloom and things still look lush and full.
Summer sessions usually start between 5:30 – 6:00 PM.
Moving on to fall, which I say is October and November. This is a super popular season! I can understand why because I LOVE almost everything about fall.
The sunset time changes a LOT during these two months. You can plan on starting sessions between 4-5pm in October but after the time change in November sessions will start much earlier, around 3pm.
Fall sessions are some of my favorites! I love the cooler temperatures and all of the colors –– though if you’re looking for vibrant fall colors we’ll need to go somewhere where the leaves actually change colors. Most of my seniors are really concerned about having lots of bright colors in their photos but as long as I have just one tree with some color, I can make it look like a bright fall! Most seniors who choose fall sessions love fall colors and luckily we live where it’s still warm throughout the fall months!
Winter senior sessions, which are between December and February, can be really pretty! They do start much earlier simple because of the sunset time –– during December through Mid-March you can plan on your senior session starting around 2:30 or 3pm. I do have more weekend availability during the winter to make the start time easier!
I typically start senior sessions in February but if you are interested in December or January, we can make a plan to keep us warm!! Coastal North Carolina is an interesting place where we have random warm days throughout the winter so we usually luck out! I also love the idea of doing something in the snow so if we can plan around that, I would so be down!
Lastly is spring (March-June), which is usually my busiest time of year and also the time of year where graduating starts to feel really real!!
Spring sessions are awesome because they are a really good temperature…usually. There is also more rain in the spring and a LOT of wind –– which is almost worse than rain!
I love spring because the flowers are starting to bloom and I LOVE the colors, but keep in mind that different types of flowers bloom each week and they usually don’t start until late April and May. It’s best to not get your heart set on a certain type of flower but just to love having flowers in general! It’s hard to schedule photos around nature!
The sunset changes a lot during these months too but we’ll start with sessions starting between 5:00 and 6:00 PM.
When it comes to choosing the season for your session, you should also look into your yearbook deadlines so you have plenty of time to get the photos back!
Also think about when you want to send out your announcements. It takes time to schedule, take, and edit the photos, plus designing your announcement, ordering, and sending them out so plan ahead!!!
If you’re worried about making sure you get a few cap and gown photos, I did have cap and gown mini sessions last year and may do them again if there is enough interest!
If this is super important to you, you can wait until the spring but keep in mind that a lot of other people do this so there isn’t as much flexibility with scheduling. You could also reach out about mini sessions and get your sports photos too!!
At the end of the day, I would choose the season that feels the most like you and the one that fits your style the best. If you have specific questions or need help, please reach out!!
I can’t wait to meet all of my new #DakotaHerseySeniors, no matter what season they choose 🙂
I’m Dakota, a Wilmington, NC-based photographer Helping engaged couples feel comfortable in front of the camera and creative businesses grow with purposeful brand imagery.
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