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best time of day for outdoor family photos toddler girl with chickens

When is the best time of day for outdoor family photos?  The answer to this question depends upon a number factors including time of year and location but I’d like to submit that the best time of day to take your family portraits is whatever time of day your little ones are typically at their best.

You know what I’m talking about, right?!  Most children (especially babies and toddlers) have the hours that they are most playful, most apt to listen to you, less hungry and less tired and you know what those hours are.

For my kids it’s early morning (before 10am).  When we start getting into the late afternoon or evening, we are more often than not, a complete hot mess.  Fortunately we live in Orange County where the light is typically beautiful in the morning and so a morning photo shoot makes sense not just for us but for many families with young kiddos.

Samantha here is a perfect example.  When I spoke with her mom about what she had contacted me to photograph, I love how she spoke about this stage where her baby girl was almost to the toddler status and how she really wanted to capture this fleeting time before Samantha was walking.  Anyway, Sam is at her best in the morning and since mom wanted to do the shoot in their backyard incorporating the family pets into the session, an early morning shoot was the best time of day for outdoor family photos.

I have a slight bird phobia but I embraced the chickens being a part of the shoot and am so glad that I did.  Some of these images are my favorites I’ve ever done! 

The morning was warm but overcast and so we had nice diffused soft lighting.  The yard was beautiful and you can see below how much variety I was able to capture in this early morning shoot.

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And finally, because you know how much I believe in getting your images off of your hard drives, here is a little wall art inspiration from the session.

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So the next time you are wondering what would be the best time of day for outdoor family photos, I hope you remember this session and heed my advice to pick a time that is best for you little ones!


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K.C. Crow of Crow’s Nest Photography is an award winning and featured lifestyle photographer based in Orange County, California. She is one of the few photographers in the greater Orange County area that offers beautiful lifestyle portraits with a little added magic. Her most favorite things to shoot are newborn and child lifestyle portraits with dramatic light and soft warm processing. K.C. is an on-location photographer with a preference for natural light serving the beach cities and greater Orange County areas including Laguna Beach, Newport Coast, Sunset Beach, Crystal Cove, San Clemente, Dana Point, Brea, Yorba Linda, Fullerton, Placentia, Anaheim Hills, Anaheim, Orange, Irvine, Tustin, North Tustin, Ladera Ranch, Laguna Niguel, Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita, Corona del Mar, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Santa Ana, Costa Mesa, and La Habra. Fresh 48 Newborn Sessions are available at most Orange County hospitals and birth centers.  For more information about K.C., click here. For pricing information, please visit our investment page. Click here to contact K.C. directly.  Thank you so much for stopping by!

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