Deirdre Mulhern Photography

Main Line & Philadelphia Area Photographer

Haverford Family Photo Session at Dawn

Capturing Golden Moments: An Early Morning Family Photo Session

Family of four smiles and laughs while looking at one another in Haverford, PA
Family of four faces camera in field in during family photo session

There’s something incredibly special about capturing a family in the soft, early morning light. This arboretum in Haverford is an excellent location for a family photo session at dawn. Recently, I had the pleasure of photographing a family of four who were absolute troopers, meeting me at 6:45 in the morning to take advantage of that coveted golden hour glow. Despite the early hour and the cloudy skies, this Narberth family was ready to go.

I love doing early morning family photo sessions like this for several reasons. Most children are early risers. I remember when my kids were little, some days 9 am felt like it might as well have been lunchtime because they woke up around 5:45 with the sun. If this is the case for your family, take advantage of your well rested kiddos for an early morning family photo session. The novelty of going somewhere new is a great way to start the day, especially if you make arrangements for a breakfast treat on the way home.

Early morning sessions also tend to have more options in terms of locations. This arboretum is frequently filled with walkers, runners, and college students. At the start of our session, other than a dedicated jogger or two, we had most of the arboretum to ourselves. Another reason to consider an early morning session is the weather. In the late spring and summer months, early morning tends to provide not just diffused light but also far more tolerable temperatures. It’s important to keep everyone comfortable to make the experience enjoyable.

Haverford family walks down path while looking at one another.

The Start of Our Adventure

We began our session in a beautiful field on the college campus. I have used this location for Haverford family photo sessions several times in the past. It wasn’t until this morning that I learned from this knowledgeable family that this location is actually a cricket field! We even found some leftover cricket equipment! The sun had been hiding for days and decided to finally make it’s appearance just as the family arrived ready to go at 6:45 to the field. The diffused light added a soft, natural touch to the photos. The family’s four-year-old and almost eight-year-old were full of life, their curiosity and playful spirits shining through every shot. After completing some posed shots of the family together, we headed to some other locations within the arboretum to capture more candid photos.

Mother and son smile at each other next to duck pond, Haverford, PA.
Mother hugs young girl while whispering in her ear during Haverford family photo session.

A Walk to the Duck Pond

As we moved from the field, we embarked on a leisurely walk to a nearby duck pond. A Haverford family photo session wouldn’t be complete without a visit to this local treasure! The tranquil water and the surrounding greenery created a picturesque backdrop for our session. While at the pond, the family spotted a group of turtles basking on a log. This spontaneous discovery led to some wonderful candid moments that I was thrilled to capture. The children’s fascination with the turtles provided a glimpse into their personalities, resulting in photos that were both genuine and heartwarming.

Young girl and boy hug one another while looking at the camera.
Young girl and boy walk while holding hands in field by pond, Haverford, PA

Capturing Family Bonds

After enjoying our time at the pond, we moved to the other side for some more structured shots. The kids’ bond was evident as they posed together, their sibling dynamic shining through in each frame. We then shifted focus to the parents, capturing their connection and love in the serene setting. The combination of the natural scenery and the family’s interactions created images that were both intimate and timeless.

Young boy looks over mother's shoulder as she smiles at him.
Mother kisses young boy's head while carrying him away, Haverford, PA.

The Sweetest Moments

One of my favorite parts of any family photo session is following the family after we have completed their session. Though the session is technically over, I’m always on the lookout for a few more opportunities to get a candid photo or two. This final part of the shoot often yields some of the most authentic and tender moments. The candid photos from this part of the session are always a hit, and I love hearing, “I didn’t even know you got a picture of that!”

A Morning to Remember

This early morning Haverford family photo session was a beautiful reminder of why I love what I do. The dedication of this family, willing to start their day at the crack of dawn, made for a fantastic experience. The golden hour, even under cloudy skies, provided a magical backdrop for capturing their unique story.

For anyone considering a family photo session, don’t underestimate the charm of an early start. The soft morning light and the peacefulness of the early hours can result in some truly stunning photos. And who knows, you might just spot some turtles along the way! To see more photos from this session and other family sessions, check out my gallery of favorite moments.

If you’re interested in booking a session and creating your own magical memories, feel free to reach out. Let’s discuss a time that works for you and your family whether that’s 6 am or 6 pm! You can use my contact form to learn more.

Family smiles while walking on path during Haverford, PA photo session.

July 9, 2024

Deirdre Mulhern