How to schedule vacation family photos

When is the best time during vacation to schedule family photos?

Avalon beach family portraits

Often clients ask me when is the best time during a vacation to schedule family photos. Some want to get it done early in the week, while others think it might be best to wait till the end. But after years of taking family vacation photos I’ve come to find that there are certain days of the week that are best for family vacation photos.

As a photographer I have found that Monday or Tuesday of a week long vacation (figuring the vacation started on Saturday) or within the first 2-3 days to be the best days to schedule your family vacation photos and here is why.

summer family photos in cape may

By scheduling your photos within the first 2-3 days of your vacation allows everyone to get into vacation mode but not too into vacation mode. Little kids will likely still be on their schedules from home. Kids will still be in agreeable moods. Family squabbles are less likely to have started and people are less inclined to view it as a chore. No one wants photos of a cranky family. Family photos are best when everyone is fresh and relaxed.

Another reason I recommend getting photos early in your trip is because everyone will have had a chance to enjoy the sun but hopefully not get burnt. You would hate to have forever photos of your awful sunburn. Getting photos early also ensures that the photos happen so if something unforeseen comes up there is time to reschedule. We all know things happen on vacation: kids gets sick or the weather takes a turn.

large family photos on vacation

Photographers prefer golden hour which is an hour before sunset. Most of my session are done then. But long summer days means later sunsets. So I always recommend that nap so 7-8pm is not too much to ask from toddlers. I also like to suggest doing photos early in the morning (if you can’t do sunset times which in the summer gets very late for little kiddos). The light is best then and it takes less time out of your day. By doing the pictures early in the morning you aren’t taking your kids away from the beach to do something they might not enjoy. But be prepared because 5-6am is the call time.

I generally tell all my clients to schedule early in their vacation so that we can expect the unexpected and have ample time to capture wonderful family vacation photos.

large family portraits

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