Oh, Golden Hour…my favorite time of day to photograph. It’s such a dreamy time of day, adding beautiful sun-rays and golden hues to your subjects, creating the prettiest photos. There’s some things you should know when prepping a shoot during Golden Hour though, so let me walk you through them. First things first – what is golden hour? You know, besides being a natural filter that adds warm skin tones and beautiful backlighting?
Golden Hour is a natural reflector. It begins about one hour before sunset and only lasts for a short time, so it’s important that you’re in the right spot at the right time. The sun is low enough that your subjects will have even lighting on their skin, as opposed to the shadows + harsh highlights that occur during the day.
When I schedule a shoot for golden hour, I set our start time two hours before sunset. That way, I’ve given myself enough time to work with my clients and they’ll feel most comfortable in front of the camera when it matters the most – golden hour.
1- Location Scout Beforehand
Because golden hour doesn’t last very long, make sure you know where you want to be beforehand. Do some location scouting and see which spots look particularly good when the sun is setting. Don’t forget to record what time you’re there! To make things as accurate as possible, do your location scouting 1-2 weeks before your shoot takes place.
2- Be Efficient
Know the poses you want to do during golden hour so that you won’t lose any time when it arrives! If you struggle with knowing how to pose your clients, here are a few posing ideas to get you started.
It can be hard to focus on a subject when there’s sun-flare. This is when a lens hood comes in handy, but if you don’t have a lens hood then you can bring your free hand in front of the camera (and above) to block some of the sun.
4- Adjust Your White Balance
One fun in-camera setting that I love is setting my white balance to Kelvin. It gives you more control on the overall tone in your images – you get to decide how warm or cool you want the images to be while you’re shooting. The higher the number, the warmer your tones will be. The lower the number, the cooler your tones will be.
Hopefully knowing these tips will give you a better experience the next time you have a photo-shoot! Did you find this blog post helpful? I’d love to know! Send me an email with your new & improved golden hour photos, at JoelleElizabethPhotography@gmail.com