Outdoor Family Photoshoot this Spring / Summer with Helen Rowan Photography

Feb 14, 2022

All you need to know about booking an Outdoor Family Photoshoots this Spring / Summer

My most received question from parents is – ‘When is the best time to book an outdoor family photoshoot?’ It seems like a big decision so I’ve put this post together for you to help you to decide.

There are a few things to consider.

Colour Palette

Most families like to display images on their walls, and each season comes with its own palette.

Do you have a wall where a large piece might go? What are the colours in that room? If it’s really neutral you can really go for any location. But if for example you have ochre, or red highlights you might want to go for sunflowers, or poppies, or maybe wait for autumn? 

If you have a totally neutral room, you might want a colour backdrop of wildflowers as a feature image, or you might want to go for really pale, long grass which enhances beige/rattan tones in a room?


Time of day

Not always, but as a general rule I like to avoid the times in the day when the sun is overhead. It creates dark shadows and blown highlights. It’s more more flattering on the face if we choose a time when the sun is lower.

March – Any time

April – Ideally before 10.30am or 3pm onwards

May – Ideally 4pm onwards

June – Ideally 6pm onwards

July – Ideally 7pm onwards

August -Ideally 6pm onwards

September – Ideally 5pm onwards

If you’d love that really special Golden Hour, I recommend one hour before sunset. This is really worth thinking about if you’ve got little ones who have a fixed bedtime routine. April/May or September might be the most sensible choice.

Should I book a Mini Session or a Full Shoot?

Mini Sessions

I run Mini Sessions on fixed weekends, but I’m also happy to do these any time (as long as they fit into my diary). They’re absolutely great, and sometime enough for the kids, especially if it’s in the evening, or if we’ve had a shoot before and you know the kids are going to easily relax into the shoot.

You can see more about Mini Sessions here (link to follow soon, in the meantime please get in touch for prices)

Full Family Sessions

Please click on the link here for full details about Full Family Shoots. Increasingly families like to get everyone together including grandparents for shoots. It’s such a lovely experience for everyone. It might also be that you’d like to have your photos taken in your favourite spot, or at home where we spend quite a while together and really capture the essence of your family.

Here’s a little comparison showing the two options

Mini Session

  • One of my fixed locations
  • One family only of 2 parents and 3 kids max
  • 30 minute session
  • 12 final images in the set
  • Outfit advice

Full Family Shoot

  • Any location within 40 mins of S40
  • Can be for one family or extended families
  • 60-90 minute session
  • Approx 40 edited images in the set
  • Outfit advice


Images Through Spring / Summer Months


Isn’t it a relief when February is behind us, and we start to feel that slight warmth from the sun. The new leaves are budding on the trees and snowdrops and daffodils pop up through the new grass.

It’s a lovely time to get out for photos. 

Here are a selection of images taken on family shoots in March.

April / May

By April spring has well and truly sprung! There is warmth in the sun, and generally the ground is mud free. 

Traditionally in April and May people think family shoots are all about the bluebells. They are wonderful and I’m always happy to shoot in bluebells. Don’t feel restricted to that though.

Here are a selection of images taken on family shoots in April and May.

June / July

The summer feel is in full swing. I love to see the kids enjoying the outdoor. Running through long grass, and capturing images as they make daisy chains and climb trees. There are endless options for locations depending on the look that you’re after.

Here are a selection of images taken on family shoots in June and July.

August / September

In August and early September the long grass has turned to straw and it’s my absolutely favourite time for that bleached out, high summer look. The end of August and beginning September is a great time to catch a Golden Hour and sunset at about 7-7.30pm. I’ll also be doing Sunflower Mini Sessions in August.

Here are a selection of images taken on family shoots in August and September.

Just a little note

If you’d love to go somewhere special please let me know. I shoot in family homes, gardens. privately owned garden (Thornbridge Hall for example), I absolutely loved this early morning shoot in Sheffield City Centre last September. Please just ask.



I always send you a little guide, once we’ve decided on location and timing. I’ve got a couple of general Pinterest boards for the season which you might find useful.

Spring Pinterest Outfit Board

Summer Pinterest Outfit Board

Thank you

If you would like to book a shoot this spring or summer, please don’t hesitate. I can be flexible on dates, but not number of shoots. I can only book a certain number per month to ensure that you get the quality experience possible. Your images and your families really matter to me. I want to create his quality images that make you leap with joy when you see them. 

I hope to see you soon,

Helen x



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