Well, the warmer weather is finally here!! And with that comes one of my favorite seasons for engagement sessions! I’m so looking forward to capturing our new couples! Recently I spent some time planning for the engagement sessions I’ll be shooting over the next several weeks so today I thought I’d share the three tools I use to plan outdoor portrait sessions. I use these tools every single time I plan a portrait session and they are super useful. Soon you’ll wonder how you ever lived without these in your toolbox!
I start most of the planning for an engagement session on the computer and SunriseSunset.com is my go-to for quickly finding out the best time for a shoot. I can easily search for the town where the engagement session will take place and get a calendar view of sunset and sunrise for every single day. I like sending couples a start time as soon as we schedule the session so that they can plan ahead and our brides can schedule hair and make-up. This is what the map looks like:
I know, everyone knows about Google Maps, right? But I bet not everyone knows about one of my favorite features. When you look up an address in Google Maps, there is an option to set your arrival day and time so that you know when the best time to leave for your shoot is. Not only does it take mileage into account but it also accounts for traffic, too! I’ll be heading up to Fort Tryon soon and, since I’ve never been there before, I know I want to get there an hour before our couple arrives for plenty of time for locations couting. I set arrival time for 4pm and now I know the best time to leave is around 2:30pm.
This tool is especially useful when I’m going to a completely new location. I can easily pull up the location and see where the best light is at different times of day! The Sun Seeker App allows me to get an idea of where I’ll be able to get the best light during a shoot. Check out how it even shows me the direction of the sun’s rays at the exact time I’ll be starting my shoot!
And there you have it! I wouldn’t be able to live without these three tools so try them out and let me know what you think!
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