Why the Golden Hour is Best for Photos

Why the Golden Hour is best for photos

When planning your wedding, It can be very hard to know what time to do everything. My tip is to anchor everything around the golden hour, which is the best time of day to do your photos. I always say to my couples ‘light over time’ Meaning 10 minutes of amazing light is better than one hour of crappy light. Even if golden hour happens bang in the middle of your reception, my advice would be to sneak out for a short time – to get those shots. You can be back with your guests before anyone realises you’re gone! So why is the golden hour the best time?

The Golden Hour and the blue light that follows are my favourite time to shoot. The golden hour is the hour after sunrise and before sunset, and the blue is when the sun has actually disappeared, giving the most incredible soft light. It can give such a variety of beautiful images. When organising a family photoshoot, couple photoshoot or the bridal portraits at a wedding – I educate my clients, so that they know that the timing is crucial if they want me to achieve theses kinds of romantic, atmospheric images.

When the sun nears the horizon, it is much easier to avoid harsh unflattering shadows and having to squint those eyes. The light is softer and more diffused, depending on what angle it is coming from in relation to the subject. It can also be used as a spot light to create something beautifully dramatic, also making the couple really stand out from the background. I can achieve a different range of shots using the light in different ways, so that my clients end up with a nice diverse portfolio.

I am definitely partial to a bit of lens flare. A lot of photographers try to get away from such defects, but I say ‘bring them on!’ I love little imperfections! It gives things personality and zest!

The gorgeous warm light is just spectacular, producing images which glow, really emphasising that emotion. Its not just about the colours either, it’s the angle of the light which can really lend itself to black & white images too.

I always like to make sure I know my location prior to the shoot, or I give myself a bit more time before the golden hour. The sun sets and rises at different times depending on the location, and If nestled in a valley, the period of time may just slip though one’s fingers. I do love to continue on and shoot after the golden hour, when its nearing dark, for ultra soft light and tones.

There is a real sense of slowing during the golden hour. I get my couples warmed up, totally relaxed and really at one with each other. And once this is achieved, I can stand back and capture the magic happening, producing images saturated with nostalgia and emotion. Images that will be cherished for years.
And when I’ve managed to do this, then I feel like I’ve done my job.

August 13, 2022

Victoria Baker

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