It’s hard to believe, especially after the winter we had here in the northeast, but in a few short weeks spring will arrive. I love photographing families in spring. Everyone is happy to be outside.The weather when it cooperates, can be perfect for outdoor shoots and once the flowering trees start to blossom, there are plenty of soft, pastel colors from to use as backgrounds (I am especially looking forward to the apple trees in my favorite spot!)
However as with any season, there are some things to keep in mind when scheduling a spring session. Here are some quick tips to you get the most out of your session!
1. The ground is wet and soggy and muddy and well, you get the idea. I have many beautiful parks to choose from but with so much melting snow followed by early spring rain showers, soggy fields are always a consideration. It can be especially hard if your little one is not yet standing on their own. It’s always best to let your photographer know about any constraints your child might have. I like to bring small stools for the toddler set and small unobtrusive blankets for the ground. Babies can also be placed on small carts, wagons or antique wood crates (my personal favorites). If your baby is not sitting up at all, it may be best to wait until summer or schedule an indoor shoot. Also, now is not the time for the Laboutins :). Avoid high heels and any shoes you might not want to ruin! If you want to go fun and funky, colorful hunter boots are great! I lam partial to bright red ones myself!
2. Rain rain go away! The weather calls for intermittent showers. The sky looks gloomy but it’s not raining, at least not yet. What do you do? Well, I can tell you what I do and that is, well, it depends. After working as a nj photographer for almost 8 years, in a state subjected to countless spring storms and oft changeable weather, I feel like I could have a second job as a weatherman. I like to be able to offer my clients some level of flexibility if the weather looks iffy. If you are driving a distance, we can reschedule. I’d hate for you to get here just as the skies were opening up. If you are close, then I may ask you to take a wait and see approach. I’ve managed to sneak in a shoot right before it started to sprinkle and knock on wood, I’ve only gotten stuck in a sprinkle, never a downpour!
3. The thermometer reads 60, the sky is blue and clear. You step outside and whoosh, your little one is practically blown away by the gale force winds! Ahh spring. A light breeze can be a blessing on a summer day but the wind whipping across a field, not so much. Some of my locations are nicely protected from the strong winds. If we are using one of them, we can proceed but beautiful pictures are rarely made when mom’s hair looks like a tangled mess and baby’s cheeks are red. In most cases, we will discuss rescheduling or moving indoors.
4. You love spring wildflowers and want to make sure they’re part of the session. Flowers, and wildflowers in general are notoriously fickle. The best spring flowers don’t really start coming up until May and are here for just a brief time. It’s important to make sure your photographer knows what you want and can work with you on obtaining them. I always make sure I keep my eye out for spring wildflowers in my favorite spots and will recommend changing locations if needed. One thing to keep in mind, wildflowers are close to the ground. This is the one time I will ask you to get nice and low. If the ground is really soggy, we may wait a bit but otherwise be prepared to get a little dirty! Here’s a brief timeline for blooms:
early-mid April: daffodils and crocuses, hyacinths and snowdrops, dogwoods and flowering cherries
mid April to Mid May: bluebells, primrose, daffodils, phlox, azaleas, many of the smaller flowering trees including apple.
late spring: lilacs, mountain laurel, rhododendron, sweet orange, viburnum, dogwoods
5. It’s hot. It’s cold. It’s raining. It’s not. Spring is like a fickle teenager. Weather can change from one week to the next. Make sure you choose appropriate clothing for the weather. There is nothing worse than a baby dressed in a sweater and jeans when it’s 75 degrees out in May. He will be unhappy and so will you. The best option is to choose a few different looks and make sure there are coordinating jackets or sweaters if the weather turns chilly.
6. Have fun. This is the most important tip of them all. It can be hard to think about having fun when you’re plugging through the nitty gritty details of your session — choosing outfits for your kids, worrying about your hair and makeup and making sure your kids are happy and well fed on the day. Once you get through that, let your photographers take care of the rest! If you book with me, I will give you some more helpful tips for the day of the session including what to wear and how to keep your little ones happy!
Next week: Check back for some tips on what to wear for your spring session including some up to date coordinated outfits from our best known stores.