Leah O'Connell

client tips, families

4 Reasons to love spring family photos in Charlottesville

summer family photos, Charlottesville VA
I'm Leah!

I’m obsessed with stories of family, creativity, and simple joys.  A nostalgia nerd, educator, wife, and mom of 3, I believe life’s most fun when you’re dreaming big and having kitchen dance parties. 

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spring family photos, Charlottesville VA

Even though fall is definitely the most popular season for family photos, there are so many reasons to love spring family photos in Charlottesville, too! If you know you want family photos in Charlottesville this year, here are a few reasons why spring could be a great fit for you.

family photos outdoors in Charlottesville

Reasons to love spring family photos in Charlottesville


Like Miss Rhode Island says, “it’s not too hot and not too cold….all you need is a light jacket!”

If you don’t love the idea of bundling up in layers and runny red noses for your family photos but still want an outdoor session, spring is your ticket!

We can’t deny that sometimes spring in Virginia can be pretty random —(could it snow or be 80 degrees, WHO KNOWS)! But the good news is, if the weather forecast looks iffy for shoot day (re: rain or snow), we’ll decide together if it’s best to pack the boots and embrace the elements or reschedule.

Also, it’s no secret that I’m always a big fan of shooting at home, which means we’d have even more flexibility for the weather.

spring family photo ideas, charlottesville va


If tromping through fields of flowers and full, green trees make your heart soar, spring family photos are your dream come true!

You already know that I won’t ever ask your kid to “say cheese,” but spring family photos do lend themselves to more natural activities like blowing bubbles, packing a picnic, or licking sticky ice cream cones. The world opens up in the spring around Charlottesville!

virginia family photographer, spring family photos


Sunset in this season is still early enough that you don’t have to keep the kids up super late to take advantage of the perfect sunset light for your family photos.

Outdoor sessions in the spring typically start around 4:30-6pm. In summer, we really can’t begin till more like 7:00 pm. And fall or winter outdoor sessions can require start times as early as 3 or 4:00 pm, which can mean disrupting a good nap for lots of families with young kids.

Determining the best season for your family depends a lot on paying attention to your routines and kids’ needs so you can set yourself up for success!

outdoor family photo, charlottesville photographer

Another plug for home sessions:

Earlier sunrise times in the spring can make it harder to find good outdoor locations for the morning. If you know that’s when your kids are at their best, a home shoot is another amazing option.

spring family photos at home in charlottesville


When you invest in family photos in the spring, you can utilize the images as gifts throughout the year. Think mothers day, fathers day, grandparent birthdays, and even Christmas cards.

Maybe it’s the session itself that’s the gift, or you can choose from the shop of beautiful books and frames.


Spring family photos in Charlottesville are great for:

  • Families with early risers!
  • Families with young kids who are in bed by 7:30 most nights
  • Individuals who tend to sweat a lot or are really bothered by the heat
  • Individuals who are sensitive to cold (or plain-ole’ don’t like being outside in it!)
  • Families interested in an outdoor newborn session

Who’s not a good fit for family photos in the spring:

  • If you have toddlers who get cranky by 6:00pm every night
  • If you prefer sweaters and boots to dresses and short sleeves
  • If you’d prefer a morning session but don’t want to shoot at home or be somewhere else by 8:00am

Interested in scheduling your spring family photos in Charlottesville?

If you’re ready for heartwarming family photos that make you feel amazing and see the joy in your one wild, precious life … Let’s connect!

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Podcast Interview: Taking the stress out of family photos

Playful family photos at Chiles Peach Orchard

5 casual dresses for your Charlottesville spring family photos

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Hi, I'm Leah.
Family photographer, writer, educator.

I’m  one of the first to meet your newborn baby, the one who won't judge your clothes baskets and unmade beds, and the one who can capture the way your husband looks at you with a twinkle in his eye after 12 years of marriage. I believe in honoring people and telling stories.

I believe art has the power to light up the world in dark places, starting at home.