Tips for sunset photos with kids!

Connecticut family photography, summer photo sessions on the shoreline, Connecticut photo session tips with kids

Do you love summer and dream of sunset photo sessions with your kids?  Summer is hands-down my favorite season.  I’ve been a summer girl my whole life.  It’s the less structured days, long beautiful evenings, and smell of honeysuckle, grilling, and salt-soaked hair that get me.  The relaxed summer vibe also really fits with my session style, which is low-key and fun.  And I love capturing this sunset time with families, even with the kids are young and sunset is near bedtime.

Little girl with sunlight in her hair


One of my favorite session types is sunset at the beach – I love those glowing yellows as the sun sets,

Mom holding daughter in the air


and the equally interesting and beautiful “blue hour” glow just after the sun goes down.

Family portrait just after sunset

Sunset photo sessions in summer do require a little extra planning if your kids are little, however!  With sunset times in the 8:30 pm range here in Connecticut, you may be worried that the kids will be too cranky or sleepy for a session on the beach.  I have some thoughts on this…

  1. Have dinner BEFORE your session!  Most kids experience a little energy burst after dinner; take advantage of this!  Eat a picnic outside at our session location at 6:30, then we can start our photos after!  (Bring a change of clothes in the car, or maybe avoid tomato sauce).  Or, visit an awesome outdoor spot for dinner and then meet me after (I love Stony Creek pizza!).
  2. Promise dessert AFTER your session!  The promise of an ice cream cone can do wonders for keeping kids excited and happy.
  3. Make it a special night.  If kids are given the “responsibility” of staying up late for a photo session, this can add to the excitement and specialness of the session itself.  They will feel like they are being treated like grown ups, and their behavior might follow suit :).
  4. Keep it casual.  If our session involves things that kids find fun, they may forget that it’s late or that they are sleepy.  Bring nets for catching crabs, let them go barefoot, start a shell treasure hunt.  We’ll get fantastic candid photos and I’ll always stop and briefly pose you for more “looking at the camera” shots, too!

Family portrait at sunsetSunset photo sessions

Finally, you know your children.  None of these techniques will work on a toddler who always goes to bed at 7.  But if your children are 4 or older, experiment with the idea of keeping them out late for photos.  It will make for a night you’ll all remember!

Sunset photo sessions


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