When to Schedule Portrait Sessions for the Best Natural Light

What’s the best time to schedule portrait sessions for the best natural light? Is it early in the morning, late in the evening, or somewhere in between? Taking advantage of natural light is important because it’s free, beautiful, and makes your clients look great.



The best time of day for pictures is early morning (sunrise sessions) or late afternoon (golden hour) when the sun is low in the sky, creating a beautiful and soft glow. This is also called “magic hour” because it truly does feel like magic when you see how beautiful it can be! As a photographer, you won’t always get a chance to photograph at sunset on wedding days, so planning engagement sessions during this time is perfect to take advantage of the most romantic light of the day.



To ensure that my work is consistent and that I give my clients the best possible experience I can, I always educate them in advance on what the best time for pictures is. Here are the elements I include in my initial email to clients scheduling engagement sessions:



“Hey there!

I’m so excited for your engagement session! Do you have any specific locations in mind that are important to you and your fiancé? If not, I’d be more than happy to send you some of my best recommendations for engagement photos.

Also, do you guys prefer weekdays or weekends? I usually schedule engagement sessions on Mondays or Saturdays that I don’t have weddings.

Here’s a link to my calendar so you can book a date that works best for you.

Don’t worry about the exact time, I’ll touch base about that the week of your session when we’ll have a better idea of what time the sun will set. I usually like to shoot about an hour before sunset in order to capture the day’s most beautiful light.” 



This email template has truly been a life saver for me! No more back and forth emails with what dates work for you vs your clients. I simply send them the link to my online calendar (I use Calendly) so they can book a date that works for them.



I hope I have provided some valuable tips on how photographers (both experienced and newbies) can expertly schedule their sessions for the best time of day and how you can deter your clients from shooting at the worst time of day – when the light is bad. 



If you enjoyed this article and want to read more photography tips, check out my other blogs. And don’t forget to send me a photography question that you’d like answered in a future blog post!

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