How to Choose the Best Time for Family Portraits | Nashville Family Photographer Dolly DeLong Photography 

How to Choose the Best Time for Family Portraits

Clients often ask me when the best time for family portraits is. The reality is that there isn’t a “good” or “bad” time to take portraits. Instead, it’s about the look you’re going for in your photos. If you’re a family who wants flowers and brighter colors, spring is best. If you prefer something more muted or prefer darker colors, maybe fall (or winter) is better. There’s no right or wrong – it’s all about the feel you want in your photos. 

However, when it comes to the time of day for your family portraits, I have a few recommendations! 

family poses on lawn in Nashville TN

Timing for Family Portraits

Sessions typically last about an hour and a half and when we can— I love to begin sessions at two different times of the day. Since I tend to shoot in a hybrid style (meaning I shoot with film and with my digital camera) I prefer to shoot around 10am and 2pm where there is plenty of light to work with. I prefer to shoot when the sun is lower in the sky to avoid harsh shadows and bright sun patches. The first two hours after sunrise is also an ideal time to shoot if that’s better for your family. We’ll still work within the location that you want for your family’s photos. But the time of day is important so we can have the most beautiful images possible! 

Nashville extended family portraits for family of 9

I schedule sessions during what I believe will be the best light of the day – which means that it’s super important to be on time. If you’re late to an evening session, we could run out of light before we’ve finished shooting and if your session takes place in the morning, the sun gets harsher as it rises. Lighting truly does matter more than anything for your family photos! If you want portraits with beautiful, even light, it’s important to work during these times of the day. I know with little ones, it can feel tricky! But, there are lots of ways to work around them – and as a mom myself, I know how to move quickly and make sure we work within the window they’re happiest in. 

parents hold toddler during West Nashville family portraits

Keep an eye on the blog for the next few weeks as I share more tips for family photos with you so that you can have the best session possible! 

Ready for more tips to plan your family portraits? Grab my Family Portrait Session Style Guide below! This will help you create the session of your dreams! 

Family Portrait Session Style Guide from Dolly DeLong

Interested in a  family session? I’ve got those, too! Click the banner below to find out more!


Meet Your Friendly Nashville Family Photographer & Dubsado + Workflow Educator

a dad mom and toddler son are all smiling at eachother at a lavender farm by Erin Fox photography in Nashville

Dolly DeLong is a Nashville-based family & branding photographer and a creative business owner who educates other family photographers on how to best streamline their family photography business by using powerful automation tools in order to find the JOY in workflows and systems.  Dolly loves serving families, and business owners with her timeless, radiant photography.  And, she also loves educating other creative business owners on how to set up systems and workflows that will ultimately help them save time in their business-she does this by producing weekly blog posts and weekly podcast episodes on The Systems & Workflow Magic Podcast. 

She has a heart for serving the larger business community. Dolly shares her knowledge of tools like Dubsado, Email Marketing, and Business Systems with new creative business owners & family photographers in an encouraging and supportive way because she believes that anyone can find joy in automation! Plus BONUS: Systems is where the MAGIC happens!

Dolly’s faith and love for her family motivate her to help other business owners find the joy and freedom she’s found in running a successful small business.

Whenever she has a spare moment, she enjoys watching TV (i.e. Survivor), loves eating way too many sweets, and listens to podcasts while running or walking. To work with Dolly DeLong Photography LLC, fill out her contact form here.

Interested in learning how to best automate a part of your business but you have no clue where to begin? Check out to begin your automation journey today!

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