family of four snuggles on a blanket during summer family photo session in Belmont, MA

The One Thing You Should Know About Summer Sessions

If you live in the Boston area, or anywhere in New England really, you’re probably well-aware that fall is where it’s atttttt when it comes to having family photos taken. And it’s no surprise, really. Between the approaching holiday season, the fall foliage, and the (generally) comfortable temperatures, it’s clear why it’s extraordinarily popular. In fact, we booked our own family photos for last October! HOWEVER, if you’re someone who isn’t thrilled about having to fight Hunger Games style for a fall slot and could *maybe* be convinced to book summer, I need you to know something…


But how that can be?! Everyone is on vacation over the summer! Let’s dig into *why* summer is flexible, and why that might make it the more preferable choice for your family.


1. My schedule is pretty open!

If you’re new here, you may not know that I am also a full-time teacher.  Since fall marks the return to school for me, September and October are *not* a time that I’m willing to book myself silly. I have made summer my business busy season, and that’s largely because I can serve YOU best during that time. I have a lot more open days and a lot more flexibility. If we’re in the midst of a heat wave, for example, I should have the ability to re-schedule your session for optimal weather. I also have the time to travel a bit farther from my home base here in Waltham and explore new locations. And, because my availability isn’t as limited, I don’t have to book as many families back-to-back, which leaves the option for you to book a longer length Premium session if that’s your preference. I can’t offer those in the fall.




2. Later sunset *can* be a good thing!

If you have an infant or young toddler who’s still rocking a 6:30/7:00 pm bedtime, then a summer evening session might not be your friend. BUT for the older toddler and over crowd, this works just fine. The benefit is that the late session time affords you the ability to easily book a weekday evening session after work, OR, to not have to kill your daytime weekend plans on the early side. In fact, by the time late fall rolls around, session start times often dig into afternoon naps. Eep!


3. The option for morning

If you know you just cannot swing an evening session in the summer, I understand! Maybe fall truly is a better option for you at this time. Before you fully write off summer, however, you might want to consider a morning session. I do several of them every July and August, and I know a couple of locations with ample tree coverage so that we can cheat sunrise and start at a more reasonable time. Morning summer temps are perfection and my favorite locations are usually ghost towns first thing in the morning. Whichhhh leads to my next point…

4. Fewer crowds

Obviously if we are hitting up a city location, it’s going to be busy in the summer, but for the vast majority of photo locations in the Boston area, you’ll find fewer people (specifically, other photographers and families) in the summer. Fall is so hard in that regard, and it means I really have to think extra carefully about the locations I’ll choose. It’s stressful, and although it’s sort a necessary evil to get those gorgeous fall colors, it’s also really nice to not have to worry about it.


5. The Landscape


Foliage is definitely one of the major factors that drives people to book fall, and I love me some warm tones just as much as the next guy. But here’s the thing- they aren’t guaranteed. Peak foliage came early last year starting in September at some locations. The year before, it was just the opposite! It showed up at the very end of October/early November. There’s also no way to guarantee that every location will have foliage, and often times, there may be some, but it’s not always in the direction of the sun. The session below perfectly depicts what I’m describing. There *was* a bit of foliage (and this was mid-October), but I had to wait until blue hour at the very end of my client’s session to be able to turn them around and take advantage of it.


The majority of their session actually looked like the image below, which is quite green and not all that different from this other family photo, taken in August. Part of the reason for this is that by mid-summer, grass typically begins to desaturate a bit as those vibrant greens of spring and early summer disappear. You can definitely score some of that deeper, richer green that is commonly associated with fall. Win win!


I know there’s a solid chance that you’ve made it this far and are still planning on a fall photo session, and that’s okay! Just make sure you’re on my mailing list so you’re the first to see when dates are released! If you aren’t yet on my list, you can reach out here to be added :).





Oh hey! I’m Melissa, a Boston family & newborn photographer, but I like to refer to myself as a toddler-whispering, child-taming, photographic ninja.