September 18, 2019
We all dread Daylight Saving Time in the spring. I sure do because I love my sleep! However, there is one good thing about moving our clocks forward! It stays light out in the evening longer, and this means we can start your session later! Your engagement session start time revolves around when the sun sets. And when that sunset time is constantly changing year round with the different seasons, figuring out a good session time can be difficult. I always try to start engagement sessions two hours before sunset.
March, April, May
Sunset: 6:00pm – 8:30pm
The sunset time varies greatly for these spring months because that’s when Daylight Saving Time starts. Sunset times range from 6pm all the way to 8:30pm depending what part of each month your engagement session is. I recommend starting your engagement session between 4:00pm and 6:30pm to ensure we have enough daylight to photograph both outfits! Do a simple Google search like “sunset time for April 18, 2020 in Iowa City, Iowa” for example, and it will tell you! Subract two hours from that time, and voila! Now you know the best time to start! These are the months where I am starting to get a little bit busier than I was in Dec, Jan, or Feb, but I’m usually still not quite as busy as I am in June, July, and Aug! Because of that, I recommend booking one to two months in advance!
June, July, August
Sunset: 8:35pm – 7:40pm
The longest day of the year for 2020 is June 20 with a sunset at 8:45pm; after June 20, the days start to get shorter! For these months, I recommend starting your engagement session sometime between 6:30pm and 5:30pm depending how late in the summer you plan to have your engagement session. Summer, along with fall, is my busiest time of the year. If you know you want a summer or fall session, let me know right away to get your name on the calendar! I recommend booking two to three months in advance.
September, October, November
Sunset: 7:40pm – 4:35pm
Just like the spring months, these sunset times vary greatly because Daylight Saving Time ends in November! I recommend beginning your session between 5:30pm and 2:30pm. As mentioned above, fall is very busy because it seems that *almost everyone* wants their photos in the fall! And theres nothing wrong with that! But my calendar fills up fast, so I recommend booking two to three months in advance!
December, January, February
Sunset: 4:35pm – 5:55pm
I recommend starting your engagement session between 2:30pm and 4:00pm. I am not nearly as busy these months as I am during the summer and fall, so it’s usually safe to book up to one month in advance.
As you take note of these recommended start times, think about your work schedules and other things in your life that you’ll have to plan your engagement session around. If you work an 8-5 job during the week that isn’t very flexible to take an afternoon off, a fall or winter session might not be the best for you. If you work nights, a spring or summer session might not work well! If you have a favorite season that you absolutely love, let’s try our hardest to find a date and time that works with your schedule! In the end, you’ll cherish these photos forever, so make sure they’re want you want! For us, we love summertime despite the heat, and we knew that was when we wanted our engagement session! With a later start time at 6:30 in the summer, that was also what worked best for my husband’s work!
When figuring out when to have your engagement session, think about how long it will take you to get ready/how long your hair and makeup appointments will be, as well as how long it will take for you to drive to the session location! If your heart is set on a fall engagement session (because it’s SO beautiful that time of year!) that will start at 3pm, it takes 30 min to drive there, and you want two hours to get ready, you might want to consider taking the whole afternoon off work!
Occasionally, I am able to do a few sessions on a few Saturdays a year. The majority of sessions take place during the week because WEDDINGS are on Saturdays! If I don’t happen to have a wedding, I usually try my hardest to keep that day open to spend with family and friends!
Since this is a Wedding Wednesday post, I have geared this towards engagement sessions, but this info still applies to any other type of session!