If you haven't spent a lot of time in the professional photography world, you may not have heard the term "golden hour" but I'm guessing you know exactly what it is -- that hour right before sunset as the sun dips lower in the sky, softening it's blaze and bathing everything in a warm glow. Not only does it make everything seem alive and well, golden, it's actually the perfect time for a photo session.
A lot of people ask me what the best time of day is to take photos. Some think noon is best (because the sun is brightest!) but noon is one of the worst times. The sun is so high in the sky, it makes everything seem flat (no dimension) and it casts really harsh shadows, especially under the eyes. It creates an editing nightmare for that reason!
During golden hour, colors are more saturated and because the sun isn't as harsh, creates a soft depth and glow to images. Not only will hair glow but your skin will look luminous. Who doesn't want that?!
So if you're planning an outdoor portrait shoot, the best time to start is 60-90 minutes before sunset. If you're planning your wedding, there are more factors to take into consideration (to do a first look, ceremony length and location, etc.) but generally, you want to make sure you have at least 30 minutes before the sun sets to do portraits of you and your groom.
If you have questions about golden hour or portrait sessions, please drop me a line in the comments below!
I'm Chelsea - a photographer, writer, adventurer, traveler, wife, Christ follower and mama to the most adorable rescue pup. I'm passionate about telling authentic stories with meaning and purpose and spreading joy through photographs. Grab a cup of coffee and stay awhile.