Seasons matter when it comes to what your hoping for in your session
Fun fact: As a kid in 4th grade, I fell in love with meteorology and geology. So much so that up until mid high school I thought that is what I wanted to do. Never thought that my current career would have me somewhat living out my dream of being a meteorologist and studying of earth sciences and astrology in order to plan successful photo shoots. It can be fun, but also super frustrating. I am constantly looking up sunrise and sunset times, looking at solar apps to determine the location of the sun at specific locations and watch 3 or more radars on different weather apps to determine if the storm will pass us or hit us dead on. I now feel so bad for the Colorado Weather men and women on TV when clients are expecting me to predict the best possible outcome for their shoots. At the end of the day, there is beauty that can be had in just about every season or weather situation and it really just depends on what your envisioning. Even rain or snow showers! Don't dog them tell you try it!
Check out what I have laid out for you below as you start to think about your session this year.
In Colorado we can get sun almost every day. That doesn't always mean its warm but it certainly can be. We tend to see more snow as the year kicks off then we do when we all really want it on Christmas break. Snow is amazing to add fun and unique shots to your gallery. Plus, look at the detail on the mountain side! Love it! Another thing that I really love about the colder weather, layers! Bundling up can be super cute!
Approx. Sunrise: 7:15 AM Approx. Sunset: 5:00 PM
In Colorado our sunset angles are much different in the winter then they are in summer. A sunset in the winter is a little more southern and it begins to hang out a little bit longer as we get closer to daylight savings time. Again, snow is always possible in February. I tend to pick locations in the winter that have golden grasses or colored rock as well as mountains or evergreens in the background to give those rich greens or blues. Don't forget, Urban settings are also a great location to do this time of year if you want more vibrant colors.
Approx. Sunrise: 6:40 AM Approx. Sunset: 5:30 PM
Spring is right around the corner, but in Colorado, Spring doesn't look like spring we dream of on day one, March 20th. But do not fear, there is so much beauty in the golden hour with bright blue skies and golden fields. Even our cottonwoods that can be found all up and down the front range have an amazing presence without leaves on them. Biggest thing that happens in March is daylight savings, spring forward. Suddenly we go from starting a shoot at 4:30 to 6pm in one day. This is typically when us photographers come out of hibernation after the Christmas Card rush. Although I still shoot the first 3 months of the year, the flexibility to shoot later allows us to open up our calendars a little bit more.
Approx. Sunrise: 7:00 AM Approx. Sunset: 7:00 PM
We are beginning to see signs of actual flowers and buds on the trees. We might not be there 100% so do not hesitate to think outside of the box this month. The weather is getting warmer with an average temperature around 60 and the 6:00 ish start times for sessions are quite amazing for the little kiddos. Take advantage of this by having me come along and document a fun activity. Spring break has usually just ended in March and we are back in school for another 8 weeks before the end of the year. Spring sports usually get started around this time too now that we have longer evenings.
Approx. Sunrise: 6:20 AM Approx. Sunset: 7:35 PM
Blooms Month! But, these blossoms are so unpredictable. My Birthday is May 1st, and I can tell you right now, it snows the week of my birthday every single year. So as much as I want to capture these amazing trees and flowers, keep in mind I can't control the weather and what stays on the trees as much as I wish I could. The grass is finally green by this time too and man, after a cold winter, it feels so good to see it! By the time May gets here we are starting shoots around 7 pm, I will say this is when I start hearing the most concern about younger kids and their bed times. Keep in mind that best light is in golden hour, one hour before sunset. Shooting at this time will give you more of the look your are used to seeing in my images.
Approx. Sunrise: 5:45 AM Approx. Sunset: 8:00 PM
Warm days, long nights, June is a happy time. For a few years we were really hot starting in June but last year was more of a typical Colorado year. Afternoon storms tend to roll over the mountains and bring some cool relief. School is out, summer vacations and camping are in full swing. This is a great time to do an adventure session while camping/hiking or splash in a little in the creek. If you are a High School Senior and you haven't booked your session yet, now is the time. Most schools want them submitted by end of September, early October for the yearbook and once summer is on your brain, you don't want to forget because I won't have any availability.
Approx. Sunrise: 5:30 AM Approx. Sunset: 8:30 PM
This very well could be one of my favorite months to shoot. Typically less storms then we had in June, start time for sessions are around 7 pm which means I can get a little dinner in with my family before heading out usually and also home just as they hit the pillows. The colors, the weather, and actives give for endless possibilities for fun sessions.
Approx. Sunrise: 5:45 AM Approx. Sunset: 8:20 PM
Fall flower season! With a daughter that was born the first week of August, I know this month very well. She marks her birthday with the wild sunnies that pop up and we do her pictures with them every year. This can be hard to find sometimes, but sometimes we get really lucky and find amazing fields full of them. There are other great flowers too as well as the rich tall green grasses that have been growing all summer long too. August golden hour sessions start to move up in time a little bit as we get further away from the longest day of the year which is in late June. With school starting and fall sports, this can start to get tricky with scheduling. I for one, usually have to wait until end of August to get my girls Saturday soccer game schedules before I can even start opening up those weekend days for clients.
Approx. Sunrise: 6:15 AM Approx. Sunset: 7:50 PM
The leaves are changing! Leaves start in Northern Colorado and move South. Start time is mid September in the Ft. Collins area and then come south down the i25 corridor and then straight across to the west. So Pueblo and Westcliffe start later, closer to October. Even though there is a peak time for leaves that only last a week or so, do not fear, the colors will continue to pop in the images all the way through October. Keep in mind that as a photographer that covers the entire front range and beyond, it is a challenge for me to be everywhere. But, I do try my best to hunt for the best leaves I can get. Remember, just like May with the blossoms, the weather can ruin the colors early, as much as I wish I can hold back the snow or wind, I can't, but will do everything I can to still get you what you are hoping for.
Approx. Sunrise: 6:40 AM Approx. Sunset: 7:00 PM
This is the best time of year to do sunrise sessions in my opinion (the night owl). It's typically not super cold until the end of the month. This is also the month when we usually get our first snow, around Halloween. These session slots will sell out. I do try to offer a decent amount of mini sessions in Springs, Denver, and Northern Colorado one day each in order to help fit you all in so if you want one of those dates you need to book asap.
Approx. Sunrise: 7:10 AM Approx. Sunset: 6:15 PM
Early November we fall back for daylight savings. Availability drops significantly and as you all know, this is a busy time of year for last minute Christmas cards. With sunsets now around 4:40, our start time for sessions is around 3:30 or earlier which if you have kids in school, that's pickup time usually, not to mention fall sports and activities. I do my best to get you all in and usually will host Christmas minis towards the end of the month in order to fill the need and get as many of you in as possible before it's too late. With fall being as popular as it is here in Colorado for sessions, another thing about the last 3 months of the year is turn around time can start getting longer. 4-5 weeks is typical at this stage of the year. This image here is a sunrise session early in November, what I love about November and late October is even though the leaves are starting to dry out and fall they can still have such an amazing color and texture, so if you miss the peak fall window, don't fear.
Approx. Sunrise: 6:45 AM Approx. Sunset: 4:40 PM
Availability in December pretty much drops down to just maternity and newborn session due to lack of time to turn around images for the gifts and cards as well as time I need to take to be available with my own family and finishing up all the fall galleries. However, do not be afraid to set up your décor a little early and give me a call before it gets too late in the season and I would love to document some in home moments for you. In home sessions can have a lot more flexibility because they are not requiring a sunrise or sunset prime lighting time. So even if I am booked in the evening I might be able to do an afternoon if it's indoors!
Approx. Sunrise: 7:00 AM Approx. Sunset: 4:30 PM
Don't forget about shooting indoors
Like I talked about in December, Indoor sessions offer so much more flexibility due to lighting as well as a unique experience that is different from every other outdoor Colorado session. If you or your family is struggling with the Golden Hour time frames or stuck with no options left on the booking calendar, feel free to reach out about something indoors. These can be in home documentary sessions making a Saturday brunch, kids or holiday mini sessions that I host at my in home studio, coffee shop branding sessions, and much more. I love working with lots of the studios that are available to rent up and down the front range too. They come up with awesome sets every now and then that are fun to take advantage of while they have them.
Some of my most frequent studios I use are in these last 3 images above and coordinate with their links below. Give them a follow on social media if you want to see the fun sets they have coming up.
Don't forget Urban settings!
This is one other spot that can have a little bit more flexibility with timing. Not as much as indoor but defiantly some. Again, I stress the uniqueness with choosing a setting outside the norm, it's just so cool to me.