Best Times For Outdoor Engagement Photos
Updated: Dec 8, 2019
While engagement sessions can take place any time of the day, there are times that are optimal for engagement sessions. While I am letting you know the best times, I do want to mention that weather plays a big roll in this, as well as location. For example, these times are really what is best for sunny days, as the light is very different during these times and way less harsh then the rest of the day. However if it is super cloudy, sun will not play a roll in the lighting and you can pretty much shoot whenever. As far as location goes, if we are shooting in the middle of the dense forest that does not have a lot of light, you would want to shoot when the sun is the brightest to provide enough light, vs if you were shooting in a field full sun will be harsh. Basically while going with these is important at times, a lot of times due to weather of location they do have to get thrown out the window and times changed around. I also want to reiterate that while this may be the "best" time of day, your engagement session will be just as pretty if shot any other time of the day, so don't kill yourself trying to make the times work if it can't.
Winter: December thru March
Optimal Time: 3-5 pm
During December through March you can plan on your engagement session taking place around 3-5 as that is when golden hour falls. However the time change in Mid March can really throw this off, so always consider that if you chose to do your session in late March. I tend to shoot more towards three in the winter because Midday is always the warmest as well for your session.
Spring: April thru May
Optimal Time: varies
April through May, especially after time change has some drastic time changes on when sunset falls, so shooting times change quite frequently. In the beginning of April it may be 4-6, while end of May it can be 6-8. We also start to get some really pretty sunsets in May and golden hour is definitely more obtainable if that is the look you are going for.
Summer: June thru August
Optimal Time: 6:30 - 8:30
Summer engagement sessions are really the only engagement sessions I try to stick to this time frame as much as possible with, and a lot of it has to do with the heat. While it is golden hour, it is also the coolest times of the day we can shoot without you having to get up at 5am. You will thank me when you are sweating less, but also because you will have such pretty light. Summer is also really the only time of the year you are almost guaranteed some sort of sunset/golden hour.
Fall: September thru November
Optimal Time: Varies
The sunset time in the fall changes just as drastically as the spring, especially because once again he hit a time change. Beginning of September tends to fall right in light with summer times. By October you are more 5-7 and even earlier, and by November you are falling right into those winter times.