What’s The Best Time Of Year For Outdoor Family Pictures in London & Surrey?

London and Surrey Family Photographer

If you’ve decided to have some outdoor family photographs taken, one of the first questions you may have is when is the best time of year to have the shoot.

You might be wondering whether it’s better to wait for a bright summer’s day, or to capture the colour of autumn. Or perhaps you’d like to have your photographs amongst the bluebells we’re so lucky to see each year, but aren’t sure when they bloom.

We’re lucky to experience four very distinct seasons each year in the UK, which gives us four very distinct backdrops to outdoor photographs – from bluebells and daffodils in the spring, to the rich, golden tones of autumn, or the soft light we see in the winter.

But with such diverse seasons,  when is the best time of year to have outdoor family photographs taken?

In this article I’ll explain which the best months are for outdoor family photographs in Surrey and London, and what you can expect when you have a photo shoot at different times of the year.

Which are the best months for outdoor family pictures?

Although the start of each season can change slightly each year, and British weather can be unpredictable, the best months for outdoor family photographs are usually March to November.

By March, the weather in Surrey and London has started to warm up, which means it’s more comfortable to spend a couple of hours outdoors on our photo shoot. As we reach Christmas, the temperature has usually started to drop again.

best time of year for outdoor family pictures in london and surrey

Is winter a bad time for outdoor family pictures?

With this in mind, winter is a less popular time for outdoor family photos. However this doesn’t mean that it is a bad time for an outdoor photo shoot.

There are some lovely benefits to having an outdoor photo shoot during the winter:

  • The cold weather lends itself to wearing lots of layers and textures, such as wooly hats, scarves, gloves and wellies which can add a lot of interest to the photographs. This also means that children can safely splash in muddy puddles too!
  • The shorter days mean that the sun never gets too high in the sky, meaning that the light is soft and beautiful for most of the day.
  • There are also locations that lend themselves to a winter shoot. For example, a Christmas photo shoot in Central London.

Of course, on colder winter days it’s worth being mindful of the temperature – particularly if you have a baby or young children in your family. Often when a family books a photo shoot during the winter they’ll opt to spend part of the shoot at home too which means that we don’t spend as long outdoors, and therefore don’t have to worry about their baby or children becoming too cold and unhappy.

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Outdoor family photo shoots in the spring

Spring is a really popular time for outdoor family photo shoots – and with good reason. Blossom, magnolia, daffodils, bluebells and much more give us a beautiful backdrops at this time of year.

All of these flowers flower at different times during the spring, which means that there is almost always something in bloom from mid to late March until May. You can read more about which spring flowers are likely to bloom when in Surrey and London here.

best time of year for outdoor family pictures in london and surrey

Outdoor family photo shoots in the summer

During the summer months, the backdrop in Surrey and London can change quite significantly too. At the start of the summer, the greens of the grass and plants can be very vibrant. By the end of the summer, we’ll often find softer colours – soft yellows and light browns.

In the early summer it’s also possible to find lots of flowers too. From buttercups dotted in the grass, to late blooming Wisteria. We’re also lucky to have the stunning Mayfield Lavender on our doorstep, which is a popular choice for photo shoots in late July and early August.

If you have older children, the summer is a wonderful time for a photo shoot in the evening. The golden hour happens twice a day – in the hours immediately after sunrise, and the hours immediately before sunset. At this time of day the light is, as the name suggests, golden. It’s very soft, warm and photographs taken at this time can be very beautiful. Because these shoots would be quite late in the day, I only recommend them for families with older children who can comfortably stay awake into the evening.

How to take great photographs of your children at the Pumpkin Patch

Outdoor Family Photo Shoots in the Autumn

As the summer slides into autumn, we start to see a lot more yellows, browns and oranges. This can start to happen as early as September, and shoots through September and early October can capture this early colour, mixed in with the greens of late summer.

If you’d like to capture all of the autumn colour, I recommend scheduling your shoot between mid October and the end November. During these weeks we usually see the best of the autumn colour in Surrey and London.

best time of year for outdoor family pictures in london and surrey
Over To You

I hope you’ve found this article helpful as you decide which season or month you would like to have your family photographed in.

If you’d like to find out more about booking an outdoor family photo shoot with me you can find my family portfolio here, and the session information here.

What other questions do you have about scheduling a family photo shoot? Let me know in the comments below or send me an email here, and I’ll get back to you with an answer.


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Picture of Clare Murthy

Clare Murthy

I’m a newborn, baby and family photographer working with families from South West London and Surrey. I specialise in timeless, natural photography with no props or unnatural posing. I photograph babies at my studio, and families in beautiful outdoor locations. I'm based on the Surrey / London border, close to Hampton Court.
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