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Inland NW Guide: Choosing the Best Month For Family Photos

October 27, 2023

Best month for family photos blog banner over family on mountain

Your Guide to family photos for every season around Spokane, WA

Hey there, Spokane families! Confused about when to book your family photos? You’re not alone. Whether you’re new to the Inland NW or a seasoned local, choosing the best month for family photos can be a bit of a challenge. Family photos are a huge investment, and picking the best time of year for your investment can feel like a daunting task.

Let’s walk through the year, month by month, to see what each season offers around Spokane. Feel free to jump ahead to your preferred month! Or browse the full family portfolio here.

Family photos outdoors Riverside State Park

January: Fresh Starts, Fresh Photos

January in Spokane often shows up with a snowy wonderland, perfect for cozy family photos, surprise proposals, and playful engagement sessions. With winter in full swing but the bitter cold at bay, it’s a fun way to kick off the new year. Swap out the sun-drenched photos of past years for the serene backdrop of a winter landscape.

If you’ve been doing year after year of sunny, summer photos, maybe you’re ready to brave the January snow for a different take on family portraits.

Engagement photos with dog

February: Urban Vibes and Early Spring Hints

Like January, February often gifts us with picturesque snow, but as the month progresses, hints of early Spring come to life. It’s a fantastic month for striking urban family photos downtown, where the architecture meets the last of winter’s chill.

Again, remember we are in Spokane and historically some HUGE snowfalls happen early February but can melt towards the end. Unpredictable? Somewhat. But you live in the Inland NW and February by now is starting to feel like a heat wave.  

March: Welcoming Spring without all the rain

March is all about springtime in Spokane! This month tends to be less rainy than April and offers a lovely trade-off between winter chill, often rainy spring and summer heat. Capture your family amidst the budding trees and blooming flowers.

Personally, I love March as the sunset is early for little ones and the weather is somewhat predictable. However, this isn’t full on Spring yet depending on our winter. 

You know what is typically starting to really pick up in March? The Spokane River. This is a great time to think about visiting Bowl and Pitcher as the snow melt starts to happen from the mountains make the river come to life.

Best month for photos March Inland NW

April: April Showers Bring…Dynamic Photos!

April is unpredictable but also incredibly rewarding. One moment, it’s sunny; the next, it’s pouring. If you’re up for an adventure, April might be your month. Puddle-jumping family photos, anyone?

Towards the end of April, you’ll start seeing the Lilacs that give the name to Spokane as the “Lilac City”. Fun fact, they aren’t actually native to this area. If anyone knows the story on how they became a staple in Spokane, please email me so I can update this post.

May: The Sweet Spot of Spring

May is when the Inland NW really starts to shine. You’ll get the fresh spring growth without the late-evening sun, making it perfect for young families. Wildflowers like arrowleaf balsamroot start making their appearance all along the Spokane River, adding a huge pop of color to your photos.

Seriously though, if we aren’t doing photos in May together, do yourself a favor and take a walk along the Spokane river to check out the flowers. You can see more about what I’m talking about from this May session.

Family Photos Spokane, WA outdoors

June: Embrace the Golden Hour

June means longer days and the return of the magical golden hour. While this might mean pushing bedtime a bit for the little ones, the dreamy lighting is well worth it. Family photos in June are sun-kissed and full of life.

And before you comment… Yes, I know Golden Hour is always there but it hits different in summer.

Downtown Spokane Family Photography

July: Mountain Tops and Boundless Views

July calls for an adventure atop Mt. Spokane. Trust me, the views and wildflowers are to die for. The ride up might be long, but the photos will be unforgettable. Pack some snacks, make it a family outing, and create some family photos you’ll keep on your wall for years to come.

When people ask me about the best month for family photos, I often think about July at the top of Mt Spokane as a serious contender.

Mt Spokane Family Photographer

August: Summer Adventures in Spokane

August in Spokane gets warm (and occasionally smoke), but that’s no reason to shy away from photos. Whether it’s a splash in the Spokane River or a mountainous trek, we’ll get creative to beat the heat and rise above any smoke.

August has some of the best photo opportunities but I always advise people to keep the same flexibility you’d have in April with rain.  Why? Unfortunately, wildfires and their smoke regularly appear in the Inland NW.

Check out this post on some epic photos at Mt Spokane

Family Photos at River with dog

September: The Gold Standard

For those wondering, September is often considered the best month for family photos in Spokane. I might personally argue this because I love all seasons, but the swarms of people I see at this time of year would definitely disagree.

Whether you’re looking for the golden fields at Slavin Conservation Area or the color-popping trees at Finch Arboretum, September has it all. While it might feel early, the end of September is the best time to start seeing Fall color without the threat of snow. My first week to book out is always the last week of September.

James T Slavin Conservation Area Family Photos

October: Falling for Fall in Spokane (But Watch for Snow!)

October is tricky. One day, you’re surrounded by fall colors; the next, you’re in a winter wonderland. Currently I’m writing this post on October 25th and it is snowing and tomorrow’s low is around 20. However, last weekend it was 80.  Hopefully that gives you an idea on the predictability of this month.

Planning for early October gives you the fall vibe, but if you’re game for anything, late October can surprise you in the best way with the BEST color show. Or you could be playing in the snow.  It’s gamble but sometimes it can pay off big.

Fall family photography Spokane

November: The Quiet Charm of Frost on the Spokane River

Yes, November is cold. But wrap up in some layers, and you’ll find a magical setting for family photos. Think frost-covered trees and crisp, clear skies at places like Bowl and Pitcher.

Many of my extended family photo sessions happen in November.  Traditionally, it’s when people gather together for holidays and sneak in some group photos. While cold, they also end up magical.

Extended Family Photos Winter Spokane, WA

December: Home Is Where the Heart Is

December is for the homebodies. While it’s a risky month for outdoor photos, an in-home session can capture your family traditions, from cookie-baking to storytime. Just be aware that this is not the time to schedule photos you plan on giving for Christmas gifts. Most galleries take around 3 weeks to deliver. 

Wrapping It Up

And there you have it—a month-by-month guide to family photos in the Inland NW. From January’s snowy serenity to December’s cozy home sessions, each month has its unique charm. Now all you have to do is pick your month!

For more inspiration, check out these location ideas:

Urban Family Photos in Downtown Spokane

-Engagement Photos at Mt Spokane

-Little Spokane Maternity Photos



Life’s biggest adventures in modern photos co-crafted with you. Spokane Photographer | Serving the Pacific Northwest

Life’s biggest adventures in modern photos co-crafted with you. Spokane Photographer | Serving the Pacific Northwest

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