Clients often ask me “What’s the best time of year for a pet photo shoot?” The simple answer is, there’s isn’t a best time. Indoor photos and close ups won’t be affected much from month to month. For example, this photo was taken in January but you wouldn’t necessarily know that from just looking at it.
Weather-wise, it’s so variable here in the UK that time of year doesn’t make that much difference to the chances of us getting a dry day. Over the years, I’ve been on glorious sunny country walks in February and had to wrap up warm against the wind and rain in the height of summer. (We usually reschedule when it’s that bad!)
But if you want a portrait of your dog or cat in the park or countryside, those images can have a different feel depending on the season. So it’s worth thinking about what type of images you’d like to see on your wall or when your favourite time of year is. Here are some ideas to help you decide when to schedule your photo shoot:
January – The season of crisp, stark landscapes. I love frosty mornings and the outlines of the bare trees. The harsh background can create a lovely contrast with the warm softness of your pet. Snowy landscapes create soft, diffused light that is perfect for showing off your pet’s features, as well as the snow being a great toy for your dog or cat to play with.
February – The afternoons are getting longer and we’re starting to get the first spring flowers appear. So if you love snowdrops and crocuses now’s a great time to get outside.
March – The days are usually getting longer and warmer and we’ve got bright splashes of yellow from daffodils and narcissus as well as the start of tulip season. Trees are starting to blossom too.
April – If beautiful carpets of bluebells are your thing then mid to late April is usually the time when the woods are at their finest. Like all plants and flowers, the peak time depends very much on the weather in the preceding weeks, so if you’re looking specifically for a bluebell shoot, I may suggest we pencil in a couple of dates and confirm nearer the time. Early April is often a good time for cherry blossom too and bright yellow swathes of oilseed rape if you enjoy walks in the countryside.
May/June – The grass is usually long and lush and trees are in full leaf by now with new crops coming through so the countryside is looking green and fresh. Late May/early June is buttercup time if you fancy a photo of your dog running through the wild flower meadows. June is also a good time for splashes of colour from beautiful red poppies. For urban dog portraits, this is often the most colourful time for the flower displays in parks and gardens.
July/August/September – Lavender is usually in full flower by early July. And as we move deeper into summer and harvest time, the ripening cereal crops are giving the countryside a more golden patchwork look. For a greener look at this time of year, we can check out the dappled light and ferns in the woods.
October/November – If you’d like a portrait featuring the amazing yellows, reds and golds of autumn, the leaves usually start to turn in mid October with the full colours of autumn at their height in late October/early November. And misty autumn mornings can give your pet portraits a dreamy, ethereal feel.
December – Back to frosty mornings and with the sun low in the sky, lots of opportunity for dreamy backlit portraits that will make your dog or cat stand out from the background.
I hope that’s given you some useful inspiration. If you’ve got an idea of what season is right for you, then do contact me ASAP as I tend to get booked up several weeks or sometimes months in advance.