Finger Lakes Wedding Photographer | Finger Lakes Engagement Photographer | Dani T Photography
It’s a question as a photographer I get asked almost daily ; “ Dani, when is the best time to take our pictures?” Well guys! Let’s dive right in and talk about it! There are so many different times of day and each one has a different type of lighting that goes along with it, sunrise, bright light, golden light and blue light! As a photographer, personally I am drawn to not only capturing moments, but also lighting. There are so many ways to manipulate lighting to make it work to your advantage, like using Off Camera Flash ( which we will save for another discussion). So let’s dive in and talk about what times of day are best for your session with natural light!
Now, I know what you are thinking, why on earth would I want to get up at 4 am to watch the sunrise? Look no further except the images below. There is something magical about waking up before the rest of the world, to watch the sun come up, and capture those colors that come along with it. With Sunrise light, you are working backwards as compared to sunset light, where as your colors in the sky come first, and then leads you into bright light. Typically with sunrise sessions, we start about 20 minutes before the sun comes up over the horizon and work quickly since the perfect light only lasts about 30 minutes before it gets too bright. BONUS TIP! Although it is early, sunrise sessions often work great with babies and kids, since it isn’t too far off from when they wake up naturally in the morning. Here are a few examples below of a sunrise session!
Have you ever gone out at 12 noon and it just blindingly bright outside? Welcome to harsh light. I really try to avoid bright harsh lighting if I can, some photographers can totally rock it, but for me it just is not my style, especially for standard family or engagement sessions I try to avoid if it I can, but sometimes it is not always possible. Brighter/harsher light, means you get more shadows, which can be less complimenting to your final images. Wedding days are little bit of a different story, since we are on a stricter timeline and have less control over what the venue has for shade, and if we do have to shoot in bright light on a wedding day, no fear, I’ve got it handled and we will work with what we have to create some beautiful images. Especially if we can find some shade, or a building covering. Below are some examples of shooting in bright light.
Golden Hour & Sunset Light
Move over all other hours…this one is hands down the best one! Golden hour is that dreamy, yellow lighting that happens just before the sunset’s on the horizon line and slowly turns orange. This is hands down the best time to shoot in my opinion, besides sunrise, due to the colors, and the lighting that takes just breath away! When shooting during this time, we start about 1 hour before sunset, and work our way until that light gets bright orange is looks exactly out of a story book. Golden hour works the opposite of sunrise light, in that it goes from bright, to yellow and leads us into twilight. I try not to rush golden hour, I know it can get late into the evening, but trust me guys..this what makes it worth it! Take a look at some of my favorite golden hour images!
Ooooo that blue hour really is the perfect end to a night of photos! After the sun goes down, if you wait long enough, skies tend to turn an array of colors, like pinks, purples and then eventually into blue hour, which is considered twilight. Blue hour is the time right after sunset and before sunrise, when the skies are well, blue. These pastel colors can sometimes be difficult to capture without the assistance of additional lighting sources, but are totally worth the wait! You can create some extra dramatic images during this time, since the lighting is very subdued. There is something mysterious about when the day light and night time start to meet in the sky, and you are left with cotton candy skies, and the moon still poking its head out that really adds to a story of your session. Blue hour only happens for a few moments, so while we have to work quick during this time, you can really capture some romantic shots during this time!
So there you have it! All the in’s and outs of what time of the day is best for shooting sessions, and how different lighting can effect your overall feel of the images and outcome of the session! Keep all of these things in mind when we are picking a time or even planning your timeline for your wedding day! I am always here to help with plans, timelines and the best locations to feed my light addiction, and make sure you have the best experience possible!
– Dani, Photographer, Dani T Photography
August 18, 2020