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Ashley is a visual storyteller, adventurer, music lover, & book nerd

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What season should I book my senior portrait experience?

Summer? Fall? Spring? Winter?

I get asked this question all the time! Since I focus on highlighting your personality during your session, the season and outfit choices play a big role. It’s always best to book out a few months in advance. Especially if you want a date during peak season because those book up early & fast! So here’s a bunch of tips to help you pick.

Ask yourself these questions when deciding: what colors am I drawn to most? Bright & bold, soft & pastel, warm & jewel-tones, you get the point.

Do you prefer warm weather with cute, flowy dresses and crops with jeans, or do you prefer to layer up for fall with warm tones, sweaters, and boots?

Are you drawn to cities with chic, urban architecture or do you prefer nature, flowers, and greenery? 

Spring (april. may.)

Spring shoots are for nature lovers. April has blooming Magnolia and cherry blossom trees along with all the fresh sprouts and pastel colors of spring! In May, think blooming tulips, lush greenery, and more bold floral colors. The weather is warm, but not hot, so you can still wear summery outfits but add variety by lightly layering. Your hair stays curled and your makeup isn’t melting off. 

Summer (june. july. august. september)

Summer shoots are the most popular for obvious reasons. The weather is warm/hot. You’ve got that summer glow to your skin. We can use multiple locations just by walking around cool areas. Ideal outfits include shorts and flowy dresses. The summer sun is arguably the best light for portraits. I know you’ve all heard of golden hour!

Depending on your hair type, you may have a love/hate relationship with humidity. Keep that in mind when choosing your date! My stylist team is amazing but 90 degree heat wins out sometimes.

Fall (september. october. november)

Fall shoots = fall tones. As the leaves change, the warm, rich tones in the fall are like no other. The light gives off more of a moody feel. I put September in both the summer and fall category on purpose. In recent years, September has still felt like summer.

The temperature is warm and the humidity is low. You can layer up or not. Ideal outfits are sweaters or summery outfits you can add layers to. Think about deep, rich colors for this time of time of year when shopping. If you want those true fall tones, October is best. The tones translate into the city vibe so well too!

Winter (january. february. march)

Winter shoots are super fun but can definitely be tricky to schedule. I know I said that summer light was the best, but if you’re lucky enough get a sunny day immediately after snowfall, it is magical!

For winter sessions, I will only shoot one outfit outdoors. Trust me, no matter how much you love the cold, your facial expressions will look stiff and your skin gives off a different hue when you’re cold. You’ll get more variety and won’t freeze too much with the other outfits being indoors! I only shoot winter sessions when the weather is above 30 degrees for safety purposes. 

Studio | when season doesn’t matter

Studio sessions. I love experimenting in the studio! There’s an awesome variety of studio spaces I can rent for an additional fee in Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Youngstown. Or if you want a more minimalistic approach with a backdrop, we can shoot in my home studio.

Hope that helped in making your decision! If you have more specific questions, don’t hesitate to email me with questions.

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