Hudson Valley Photographer: The Best Time for Outdoor Sessions

The Best Time to Schedule Your Outdoor Session

When scheduling your outdoor portrait session, timing is everything. As a Capital region and Hudson Valley photographer, I talk to families all the time about the many ways to make the most out of a family portrait session. But one of my no-fail, top recommendations is that your outdoor portrait session must be done within two hours of sunrise or sunset.

Yes, I know your baby goes to bed at 7 pm. I also know that getting everyone out the door and “photo shoot fresh” first thing in the morning is HARD. 

You know what else I know? That the effort is worth it.

Sure, we could schedule your photos at 1 pm. But here are some of the challenges you’ll face with a session that takes place in the heart of the day:

  • Your family will be squinting in the bright sun and the harsh shadows on your face will not be flattering.
  • The light in your photos will be hard and contrasty, not that soft, glowing and forgiving light that comes when the sun is just coming up, or at golden hour.
  • Traffic and parking are always the worst during “business hours” and will add stress to the day – which can come across in your photos. Who wants to worry about being late due to traffic woes, or not finding a decent parking spot when you arrive at your location?
  • Whether we choose a preserve, state park or other scenic spot in the Capital region or Hudson Valley for your session, we’ll be fighting crowds if we do your portrait session in the middle of the day. Your family will be on full display, and your photos will be “photo-bombed” by total strangers. 

What if keeping your little one up late is not an option?

If your kids are young enough that an early bedtime is necessary – and believe me, as a Hudson Valley photographer and mom of four, I get it! – then a sunrise session is best for you and your crew. Another alternative is waiting until Fall for your family session when the sun sets much earlier than during the spring and summer months. If your kids go down a bit later anyway, a sunset session will be great for your family. I’m confident that within the two blocks of time during the day where the light is best, we can find a time that works well for your family. 

Remember, getting your portraits done is a special occasion, and probably doesn’t happen more than once a year. I’m not suggesting you throw your family schedule out the window often, if ever – but for those beautiful, glowing photos that make you and your family shine, the right timing is everything. Have questions about portrait sessions and what timing might be best for your family? I’d love to hear from you here!

Hudson Valley Photographer Best Lighting for Family Sessions Family of three takes photos at Golden Hour Adorable Toddler and parents take photos in Hudson, NY Beautiful Family Photos by Meg Mosher Photography Little boy has fun during family photos Hudson Valley Photographer Hudson Valley Photographer

Meg Mosher is a Photographer specializing in newborn, family, and lifestyle photography.  She lives in Guilderland with her husband, four young children and golden retriever who have all been subjects of her lens for far too long.  Meg is now booking 2023 newborn and family sessions.  Serving Albany, Saratoga Springs, Schenectady, Troy and the entire Capital Region.  She also services the Hudson Valley.  Contact Meg here or email her at to book your session today.


I'm Meg, an Albany-area family and newborn photographer providing artistic, authentic photography for families who love each other fiercely.