Planning a Golden Hour Session
If there's one thing that can change a photograph more than any other, it's lighting. You might have the most stunning couple in front of your lens or the best landscape in mind, but without the right light you can be left with a flat image. There are many ways to light a subject including camera flashes, reflectors, and natural light but one of the best kinds of light that trumps everything else is known as Golden Hour light.
So what’s so amazing about this so-called Golden Hour?
"Golden Hour" or "Magic Hour" produces a soft, magical and cozy feel to your photographs. It is often hard to replicate and it generally occurs one hour after sunrise and one hour prior to sunset. Actual times can vary and if clouds are present there may only be 40 minutes of magical light before it's gone.
What kind of photos does Golden Hour look best on?
Everything looks amazing during Golden Hour. It makes for beautiful portraits, fantastic landscapes, and is great for anything that requires that soft look with nice saturated colors. Golden hour gives off more red/yellow light then blue light and because of this it tends to give more flattering skin tones and adds more dimension to the scene creating a very dynamic image.
Planning your Golden Hour sessions.
While not every photo session needs to be shot during Golden Hour we typically try to avoid doing engagement and bridal sessions during the middle of the day. That is when the sun casts the harshest shadows and the available light tends to be a lot flatter resulting in a less dynamic image. For engagement sessions we typically suggest starting the session about 2 hours prior to the scheduled sunset. That way you have time to get comfortable being photographed and we can work our way to the desired final location for the last part of the photo session. Early bird sessions are available for those of you that prefer to get a jump start on the day but most couples prefer a later session. We think it has something to do with getting up before the crack of dawn but we're still trying to figure that one out :)
For bridal sessions Golden Hour often falls around dinner time at the reception. Even though you've already had an exhausting day it's always worth taking 20 minutes to step away for a quick private session while the rest of your guests enjoy their meal. If you dig those golden creamy photos you see on Pinterest, that is the time you need to set aside for your pictures.
- If your wedding is in the Fall or Winter, daylight hours are limited, plan ahead.
- Golden Hour photographs do not always need to be taken outdoors, indoor sessions can be extra dreamy with the help of a large window. The defused softness can be just as effective indoors.
- When Golden Hour goes away, Blue Hour is here to stay. After the sun sets, hints of blue & red can really make a landscape or a portrait pop by utilizing the sunset.