These playful family photos at Chiles Peach Orchard were full of sweetness. Between the 3 sisters, ripe peaches, wildflowers, and a light breeze bouncing off the Blue Ridge Mountains, it was a true treat to savor the richness of family joy with them on a Virginia summer day.
Challenges with making playful family photos mid-day
Photographing in mid-day sun can be a challenge, but this location generously allows visitors and photographers to collaborate on the property during business hours (9-5). In the summer, this means a session in full sun.
Most photographers try to schedule family sessions during the “golden hours” (the 2 hours after sunrise and before sunset) for good reason: the light is most flattering and flexible in this time frame. Locations will be more versatile and shadows will be softer, allowing more room to run and play within a beautiful glow.
However, mid-day sessions can still work!
Bold color and bright vibes from full-sun can be great for a playful family session. Light is always directional in some way, so you just have to know how to use it well to achieve a consistent look.
Tips and tricks for posing families in full-sun
For this session, I posed the family backlit as much as possible to avoid the raccoon-eye effect from shadows. When working in the orchard rows, I sought out areas with fuller, even shade, as opposed to speckled areas with light poking through.
I also purposefully encouraged play in the open sun along fields and pathways for more candid moments, then hugged the rows of peach-filled trees and lush grass for more directed moments and full family shots.
We utilized a little wooden stage on the property towards the end of the session as well for even shade and variety to the gallery.
Bonus tips for summer family sessions outdoors!
Let’s not forget that July in Virginia is hot. For outdoor sessions in this kind of heat, shade is always a bonus for recovering and I encourage families to tote along water bottles for taking breaks. (Of course, locations with water like rivers and creeks are a favorite of mine to avoid this all-together!)
Many families choose to end their session with a treat, so I love when I can tag along! For a sticky finale to these playful family photos at Chiles Peach Orchard, we enjoyed their famous peach ice cream and cider donuts!
Interested in booking a family session with me at one of your favorite family spots in Charlottesville?
Let’s do it! Reach out here so we can collaborate on creating images that drip with the beauty of personality and vibrance unique to your family. Getting excited already 🙂
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