Silver bells, silver bells, it’s Christmas time in… uh, nowhere. It’s actually not Christmas time anywhere, but you better believe that photographers across the world are already gearing up for holiday family photo session season!
As you start preparing for your holiday family photo session, there are a few things you should know to make booking a breeze.
The early bird gets the worm, or in this case, the most ideal time slot for a holiday family photo session. The week of Thanksgiving is by far my most highly requested time for family pictures. Everyone has family in town and days off work, making it an ideal time to schedule photos. The problem is, most photographers also have family in town, or are going out of town themselves. This potentially limits your favourite photographer’s availability during the craziest time of year. If you know you want to schedule a session in time for sending out Christmas cards and gifting prints, I recommend looking at your calendar now and booking early with the photographer of your choice.
In the age of digital, we are use to instant gratification… take the photo, see it right away. When you hire a professional family photography it is a little more involved than that. Photographers put a lot of time and effort into the images, even after the session. It is more than just downloading the images to a computer and sending them off to the clients. We make sure the colour is correct, smooth skin, brighten eyes and ensure that your image is a true piece of art that you can enjoy for years to come. This takes time!
If you are hoping to send out Christmas cards or print images to gift family members and friends, it is imperative that you know your photographers turn around time and plan accordingly. It may take 2-3 weeks to get your edited images back, and even more time after seeing the images to select which ones to print or to have your Christmas card designed. Scheduling your session for the first week of December is not allowing you or your photographer enough time to make magic happen in time for Christmas Day!
Don’t be afraid to start thinking about your Christmas photos in October, or even September! I have been known to take our family Christmas card photo in the middle of the summer. That way, our family cards don’t get forgotten in the midst of creating cards for all my clients! I just placed an order for a photo based Christmas gift for my father in law. I’ll just tuck it away for the next few months. Now that is one less thing for me to worry about during this busy time.
As we welcome Fall, the sun will rise later and set earlier. This makes the window for a holiday family photo sessions that much smaller. If you are looking for a natural light family photo session, plan accordingly. Most natural light photographers enjoy photographing clients during the “golden hour” which is the 60 minutes after the sun rises and the 60 minutes before it sets. In the Fall, I have started evening sessions as early as 3:30 or 4pm. Being mindful of this will help you to plan for getting off work early or scheduling around prior commitments.