Are you a junior? Even if you a sophomore, it's not too soon to start thinking about your senior portraits. This is a milestone that is worthy of documentation. These will be images that you will keep for the rest of your life. It's definitely not an event you want to put on the back burner.
So which month is the best for portraits? Some months have their advantages, but there really isn't a simple answer. Lets look at the pros and cons.
June-July: School hasn't started yet so there is plenty of time to plan. Life is probably pretty stress free during the summer. However, it most likely will be SUPER hot so not so great for hair and makeup.
August: School is starting and practices for extracurricular activities for sports and band ramp up. Weather is still really hot.
September: School is underway and everyone is getting back in the groove. Temperatures are slightly cooler. Time may be stretched thin depending on extracurricular activities. Late September is actually a popular time for senior sessions. Getting this task accomplished early in the year can be a relief with all the things on your to-do list. Plus, you can be one of the first to show off your images!
October: October is a great time for senior portraits. The weather is cooler. Routines are set. October is a busy month in general, though. Another thing to keep in mind that is in Illinois, October is still green, most of the month. Lots of people associate October with fall colors, however, fall does't arrive here until late October and only lasts, until mid November.
November: If you are wanting fall colors for your senior pictures, the first of half of November is the time! Autumn is short lived in our neck of the woods. The fall colored leaves only last about three weeks. The weather is usually still good. Maybe cool but not cold yet. Who knows? It might still be hot on the day of your November session!
December: By December, the leaves are mostly gone and the greens have usually faded into brownish tones. The temperature can be all over the place. December is a super busy month for most people. Not that you can't schedule senior pictures for this month, but not an ideal time.
January/February: I am lumping these two months together. These months are the least desirable, in my opinion, for outdoor portrait sessions. The weather is very unpredictable. Many cold and windy days during this time. If you do decide to schedule during these two months, I recommend finding some urban locations to use. Also, expect reschedules due to weather.
March: March is the month where everything comes back to life! March is a very popular month for portraits and usually fills up quickly. Everything is green again and the flowers are starting to bloom. Weather can still be unpredictable at times, so be prepared for reschedules in March as well. Keep you extracurricular activities in mind, too. Often March is a busy month as far as student events and commitments are a concern.
April: April is gorgeous in Illinois. Everything is green and lush and the flowers are blooming. The weather is warmer and generally pleasant. Another bonus is that you will probably have received you cap and gown at this point to wear during your session. However, graduation is approaching quickly and you need to think about timing as far as graduation announcements are concerned. You want to make sure you have time to get those in the mail in a timely manner. Also, by April, yearbook deadlines for senior pages and such may have passed.
May: This month is graduation month! Ending the school year, with tons of events & final tests.... Not so wise, to add the stress of senior photos to the mix. & As stated above, deadlines are past due for announcements and yearbooks. However, this is still a beautiful weathered month, for sophomore's or junior's, to think ahead!
So there you have it - the pros and cons for each month throughout the year. I hope this helps you make a decision about when to schedule your senior portraits. Keep in mind the most popular months fill up the fastest so the sooner you can schedule your portrait session, the better!