Last year I met 46 multi-family groups and it may surprise you that 2/3 of them chose to meet me in the morning. Most photographers consider the evening as the best time to take photos to catch the golden hour. It’s dramatic, and lovely, and definitely a time I love to photograph. But for large groups, it might not be the most practical. I’ve found that for multi-family groups, mornings do work great. If I’m lucky it will be cloudy and will diffuse the morning light so lovely. Some locations we can find shade. But a lot of the times I am shooting in sunlight. And while it might not be the most ideal lighting, I try to make it feel as less harsh as I can.
So why 9am?
1- Getting photos done in a resort town, when it’s the peak season means we will have lots of other people around, especially at the beaches. I’ve found that meeting in the morning is our best chance to beat the crowds at the lake, most of the times. I’ve only had a couple times when there just wasn’t any space on the beach to take photos. Those happened in July.
2- Another good reason to meet in the morning are the kids. They are fresh and ready for the day, and hopefully more cooperative. Mornings don’t interfere with nap times for babies. Everyone is fed. No one is tired from a long day of fun.
Also, since the sun sets so late in the summer, a good evening time for photos at Bear Lake is 7:30 or 8pm. Many times this is past kid’s bedtimes, and for some used to other time zones, this can be way past their bed times. A single family may be up for photos in the evening, but a group of 40 generally are not.
3- Get it done at the start of the day. That leaves the rest of the day for other activities that you won’t have to interrupt. I also recommend getting photos done on one of the first days of your vacation before everyone is sunburned.
4- Weather at Bear Lake- If the wind picks up bad, it’s usually in the afternoon. We do deal with breeze and wind often, but the really bad stuff, that makes taking pictures impossible, has happened to me in the afternoons. A couple times I’ve had to move the photo shoot inside, and luckily they had a large room we could gather. Other times the family chose to wait an hour and try again later which worked. The wind was less intense. But I’ve never had very bad weather in the morning.
If morning sun light is too harsh for you, I do know a few shady spots we can meet. It won’t be by the lake, but we can be out of the sun.
We can even meet in the shade of the place you are staying.
So large groups have to lean towards what is most practical and easy to pull off rather than being sticklers on meeting around sunset.
It takes being flexible on what works best for the whole group. And most important its about being together.
I hope I didn’t talk you completely out of doing evening shoots, because if you don’t mind the late hour, we can make some really magical photos.
So look for my post about “Why meet in the evening?”