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When to Schedule Your Holiday Photos

Baby boy in plaid shirt lays on blanket in bed of old pickup truck with holiday decorations around him

Holiday photos are such a special event for families! They serve as a fun way to capture your family each year as they grow and change, and even share those memories with your family and friends through holiday cards! However, many families struggle with knowing when to schedule their holiday photos, which often results in asking too late and missing out on the opportunity for the year.

In this blog post, I'll break down a few important things to consider when scheduling your holiday photos, as well as the ideal timeline for scheduling your photos with your preferred photographer. That way you won't miss the chance to get beautiful photos for the holidays! Let's jump in.

two parents and 4 kids sit on a blanket in the woods for their holiday photos

Important Things to Consider When Scheduling Your Holiday Photos

There are a lot of factors that can affect the best timing of your holiday photos. For that reason, here are a few things you'll want to keep in mind as you start planning your holiday photo session with your photographer.

Are You Planning to Order Holiday Cards? - If you're planning to design and order holiday cards, this is an important thing to keep in mind when scheduling your holiday photos. Ordering cards (especially print cards that you'll be sending via snail mail) can take some added planning and time. You'll want to make sure there's enough of a buffer on your timeline so that you are able to design and order your cards so they can reach your friends and family in time for the holidays!

Would a Mini Session Suffice? - If you don't need a full, hour-long session for your photos and a full album of photos, or if you'd like to find a way to save a little money on your holiday session, mini sessions can be a great option! Many photographers offer mini sessions, which typically consist of 15-30 minutes and a handful of final images. Some photographers do mini sessions all on one day and others allow more flexibility in their scheduling, so if you're considering a mini session, chat with your photographer about them 3-4 months prior to the holidays.

Is Your Preferred Photographer Fairly Busy Throughout the Year? - If you have a preferred photographer in mind for your holiday photos, consider their schedule. If they tend to be pretty busy throughout the year, you'll want to give them even more time than normal when you book your holiday photos. The holidays are a very busy time of year and tend to fill up quickly, so no amount of advanced notice is too much!

Will Your Photos Take Place in a Studio or Outdoors? - When scheduling your holiday photos, your location matters. If your photographer has their own studio, scheduling an indoor session will likely be easier to do than scheduling an outdoor session. Outdoor sessions rely on a variety of factors (like the weather, location scheduling, the best hours for natural lighting, etc.) Keep this in mind when booking your session and if you'd like an outdoor session, be sure to give your photographer a couple of months' worth of notice.

Are You Planning Around a Family Visit? - If you're aiming to include out of town family in your holiday photos, then keep their travel schedule in mind when booking your session with your photographer. It's also important to communicate with your photographer that you'd like your out of town family involved in the photos so they can be sure to ask you the right questions about your session and ensure that everything goes smoothly for you.

It's also important to communicate this with your photographer in case the session needs to be rescheduled due to weather, because this will allow your photographer to plan ahead with a game plan and even potentially pencil in a secondary date during your guests' visit.

Mom and dad hold their baby girl in the woods for their holiday photos

The Best Time to Schedule Your Holiday Photos

Most photographers typically recommend scheduling your photos 2-3 months prior to your desired holiday session. Most photos will take place anywhere from 3 weeks to 2 months before the holidays.

The holidays are a very busy time, and most photographers agree that the earlier you schedule, the better. This ensures that you don't miss out on your desired session date, time, location, and photographer, and it allows your photographer ample time to plan your session, schedule other clients and mini sessions, and edit and deliver your photos so you can get your holiday cards ordered.

It's also important to consider that holiday sessions are not the only sessions your photographer may be scheduling. It's possible that they're still photographing maternity sessions, newborn sessions, headshots, children's milestone photos, and more.

Scheduling early will help ensure that you get the photos you've dreamed of without too much of a fuss!

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