I'm often asked about the best time to take senior photos. I didn't really have a clue when I first started as a photographer, but it didn't take long for me to realize that timing really does matter! Now, I recommend the summer of your junior year for your portrait session. Does that seem early? Maybe... and as a parent of a junior, I can tell you I AM NOT READY FOR THIS! While I definitely feel your pain, read on and I'll tell you the good & bad for each season - and why I love Summer most!
I mentioned this is my favorite time for photos, but to convince you a little more...
1) you're out of school and sports (which means your schedule will be more flexible)
2) the weather generally cooperates (good for you and your photographer!)
3) the daylight hours are much longer (which allows your photographer more shooting time and session openings)
4) the light. You can't beat summertime glowy light!
If there's anything negative about shooting in the summer, it's that you might change looks a little (a new haircut/color, or maybe even grow some) before the big day. ALSO, your mama will cry because she hasn't had time to process the fact that YOU'RE GRADUATING!!!
Who doesn't love Fall? (me. I don't love Fall because it means winter is coming!) The number one reason people choose Fall sessions is for the color. But, remember, there's less daylight and it is often the busiest time for most photographers. Plus, you're back in school and probably busy with other stuff. So, if you love the look of the fall colors, book early! (A bonus to Fall sessions... you'll be able to use your images for Christmas cards!)
There are many challenges with shooting during this time. By now daylight hours are much shorter, you're in school, and likely mega busy with extracurricular activities. Making time for photos is tricky. Plus, the weather is moodier and there's just not much color outside. If you do find yourself in this season and still need photos, don't worry! There's probably still time to have them done. Just be sure you have a session scheduled by March! If you wait any later, you may not have your images in time for graduation.
I hope I've convinced you to at least start thinking about your senior photos early! Be sure to contact your photographer and see what they recommend and how far out they're booked. Some photographers only book a couple of months in advance, while others may need a year notice. Your photographer will work closely with you to create your vision for the session. Do you love sundresses and dream of twirling in a sunflower patch? But, you also love sweater-weather and fall tones? You may be able to break up your session into two, or even three, shorter ones to allow different looks and seasons.