What time of day is best for a family lifestyle session in Perth? - by lifestyle photographer, Sarah Ross

I'm going to tell you something now... something that you, the parents, are not going to like. The best time is 1 to 2 hours before sunset. No matter what time of year that is, it is frightfully close, or bang on the kids bed time!

So as you read that, your best "oh hell no" expression firmly plastered across your face... believe me, as a parent myself, I 100% feel you. When it comes to messing with your kids bedtime, I am well aware that you're probably checked in on the reluctance train, with the door locked and the dead-lock secured. Let's be honest, by 5 o'clock, I'm often counting the seconds until I can tuck my little rascals up in their beds; and that's on a good day.

"But Sarah!", I know... I can hear you say it. "My kids are in bed at 7:00pm and not a second later, but you're trying to tell me that you would like us to be out frolicking in bushland somewhere? You've lost your mind! The kids will be impossible to deal with, it will be a total and utter disaster!"

But you have to trust me! For one solitary night...it is totally and utterly worth it! The 'golden hour' light… it is simply spectacular. Magical even. Now, I know you're also probably thinking that I just want to schedule a session then so I can get out of 'witching hour' with my own kids! Okay, Okay... I'll admit, that is a bonus! But it really is all about you, I promise. The light at that time is so soft and so flattering. You want to look your best right? Golden hour light means no squinted eyes and no super shadowed under eye bags (what mother needs those accentuated am I right????).

Hear me out... the chances are pretty good that, assuming this isn't a regular occurrence in your household, your kids will actually be pretty darn excited to be prolonging the inevitable bedtime routine and switching it out for an awesome adventure. We are going to be out having an absolute ball together! We're going to be doing things that your little ones looooove to do! So, generally, I find that the novelty factor is super high and is often just enough to perk the little terrors up for the duration of a family session.

That being said...

If you have little ones who are still taking naps in the day - I HIGHLY recommend trying to push their nap out a little bit later in the day in an effort to stretch them out enough to make it to the evening. 

Once booked in, my clients receive extensive help when it comes to preparing little ones for their Family Lifestyle session and, included in that information pack, will be PLENTY of little tips and tricks to help bring out the best in your kids...EVEN at their bedtime.

Annnnd... If a client asked what would be the most important thing they should bring to a family session, unequivocally, my answer would be, MESS-FREE SNACKS! Snacks, snacks and more snacks.

The other thing that helps keep the little munchkins happy is their favourite Toys! BUT... and this is a BIIIIG but! I recommend keeping these hidden until the end of the session unless we have exhausted all other distraction options and need to whip them out earlier. You know as well as I do, that once they get their hands on said toy... you're either going to be prying that thing out of the hands of a very upset little monkey, or you'll be gaining a new member of the family for the remainder of your session.

still not for you??? well, we do have a couple more options!

This advice obviously does not apply to kids of all ages. Newborns are usually best kept warm and snuggly, tucked up indoors. At that time of day, their reputation is not one of peace and stillness.

Little ones under the age of 1 are also a lot less likely, than toddlers or older kids, to be entertained by our little evening adventures and believe me, I completely understand that for some other little ones, it really just isn't impossible. Well, lucky for situations like that, you have three other great options.

1. Sunrise

This option might not be as horrifying as it sounds. Because, if your kids are anything like mine, they're generally up before the sun anyway. So, just as you would for any other day you'd like to get ahead of... get everything set out the night before so you can just grab and go. Pack the kids some mess free toast for the car ride and you'll be all done and dusted by 8am.

2. In-Home Lifestyle Session

Then there are in-home lifestyle sessions. This might be the PERFECT option for you if you still aren't convinced that getting out and about is for you. I mean... where else in the world would you be more relaxed and more comfortable than in your very own home?

Take a look at this beautiful in-home family lifestyle session with a wee one as an example!

3. Wait it out

The final option, if you still have your heart set on an outdoor session, would be to waiting until summer is done and dusted and the cooler, earlier Autumn evenings are upon you! From March to May, we may have to start contending with the rainy days a little bit but the days are still fairly warm and the sunrises much later and sets much earlier. You'll find those session start times a fair bit more reasonable for the little ones.


To give you a bit of an idea of what sort of start time you can expect for your outdoor Family Lifestyle session, I have whipped up this helpful little guide. Remember that this is a guide only; we will chat about a specific start time once your session date has been locked in. 


Sunrise session- might start anywhere from 5:45am to 6:45am 

Sunset session- might start anywhere from 5:45pm- 6:45pm


Sunrise session- might start anywhere from 6:30am to 7:30am

Sunset session - might start anywhere from 4:15pm- 6:00pm


Sunrise session- might start anywhere from 6:45am to 7:30am

Sunset session - might start anywhere from 3:45pm- 4:30pm


Sunrise session- might start anywhere from 6am to 6:45am

Sunset session - might start anywhere from 4:15pm- 6pm

If you prefer the idea of an in-home family lifestyle session, take a look at this fun family session here.
Are you based in Perth and thinking of documenting your crazy kids just as they are? Get in touch here to secure your authentic family lifestyle photography session.