Essex family photographer - Tips For Your Family Sunset Session 

Sunset or Sunrise photoshoot, say what?!

Your photographer has suggested a sunset or Sunrise session for your family and all you can picture in your mind is a horror story unfolding , where your usually beautifully wild child turns into a crazed wolf upon a change in routine.

Why oh why do we need to do a session that late or early you wonder?

Trust your photographer!

In order to create those stunning images, photographers consider heavily the quality of available light.

Light to a photographer is the same as a painters paint on a canvas, it shapes the scene and layers an image. For your sessions that are shot outside we are after beautifully diffuse light, it's the most complimentary to skin whilst giving images a warm glow.

After /before golden hour (depending on whether your session is at sunrise or sunset) the sun is higher in the sky, which , unless it is overcast can be tricky to photograph ( harsh shadows/Overbearing light/ squinting/shadows in weird places ) and no amount of editing can correct these things.


Keep to your normal routine as much as possible but avoid doing anything too active either the day before for sunrise or the day of a sunset session, so for the kids not to be completely worn out and grumpy before the session starts.

If you are able to push naps back, try and shift them a little later. or move forward bedtime a bit earlier the night before in order to squeeze in a little extra sleep.

Bring snacks

Eat dinner/breakfast before the session and have a non sugar laden snack on the way in the car to provide a little blood sugar boost without the dreaded sugar crash mid session.

Lower Expectations

Try your best to relax, I know this can be hard if they are pushing boundaries! But let your photographer guide the children through prompting them with games. I find the kids are more likely to respond in a positive way and relax into the session through gentle guidance from your photographer opposed to mum or dad.

Come Prepared

The kids and you, by the end of the session are probably knackered. Bring their PJ's , blankets, snuggle buddies, even tooth brushes etc and get them changed for the drive home. If they fall asleep then the transition to bed can hopefully be plain sailing and you can relax for the rest of the evening.

Consider the time of year

There is no right or wrong time of year to have one of these sessions, however, if tiredness and routine is important to you it may be worth shifting your session away from the summer months. Not only does golden hour vary wildly throughout the year, (refer to a golden hour app or google when thinking about booking your session ) but also quite often in early Autumn the sun is lower in the sky or the weather is most often overcast, acting as natures sun diffuser for us, meaning the session timing can be more flexible. There are differences to this, and i'm not going to call them cons because, although we may not get that beautiful golden glow at this time of year, alternatively we might get some more dramatic or beautifully moody pictures which are equally pretty in their own right (and quite often some of my favourites).

The main suggestion I have for these colder sessions is to wear enough to be warm. Layer up, with cute chunky knits over long dresses, teamed with boots and wooly tights. Everyone gets miserable if they are cold!

Embrace The Moment

Yes, a change in the routine may suck and they may be a little grumpy the day after but it's ONE day. Usually the kids are just pretty excited to be allowed up past their bedtime and at the end of the night you have a lifetime of these memories to look back on. You will never regret that!

I hope this advice helps a little bit. Lord knows you need more parenting advice from another well meaning mama/photographer! But in all honestly, you've got this , however you choose to tackle it!

Emily x

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