When, what and why you should shoot during the Golden Hour

So you’ve booked a photoshoot and you’re giddy and excited, and so is your Photographer. You come to decide on a time to shoot at and you hear the two words: ‘Golden Hour.’ Ey?

Or maybe, just maybe, you’ve heard about this ‘golden hour’ thing us photographers rave about. And I promise, we’re not all being weird. But heck, golden hour light is the BEST and the perfect OPTIMUM light for us to work with.

What is the Golden Hour?

There are two ‘Golden Hours’ in a day: sunrise and sunset. The ‘Golden Hour’ is the period of daytime shortly after sunrise or before sunset, during which the light is redder and softer.

But why?

‘Golden Hour’ light is the best to work with for many reasons. Usually, afternoon sessions are ideal in terms of timing (get that lie in, am I right?!) but this is usually when the Sun is higher in the sky (noon/afternoon period). What does this mean? This means that the sun will cast harsh shadows over your eyes, causing you to squint into the camera. Not only that, you’ll have shadows over your skin, which does not look good. Seriously.

This can completely make or break a session, and hey, we’re out to get you the most beautiful photos. Right?

London Lifestyle Photographer
London Lifestyle Photographer

Sunrise vs Sunset?

You’re thinking: great! Lets catch the sunset Golden Hour - sunrise is too early for me!

I gotchu. I understand that you’re probably thinking: ‘but Emily, waking up at 6am for a sunrise session is too much for me! Can’t we just schedule a sunset session?’ Hey, these photos will last you a lifetime and I promise we’ll have an awesome time. Pinky pinky promise. Triple pinky promise. A sunset session is great if the location we will be in is absolutely secluded, but as London goes, there will most likely be a huge stream of people rushing home during rush hour, or families out during the weekend! We wouldn’t want photobombs either right?

When you receive your gallery, you’ll be like ‘Emily, photographer human bean, YOU WERE RIGHT. This soft golden light is AMAZING. AND OMG. There is no one in the background of my photographs trying to sabotage me!!’ Receiving a gallery of beautifully lit photos with no crowds/photobombs is so much more awesome than photos where you’re squinting into the camera because the light was WAY too harsh. Right?

Take it from me. Seeing London in the morning, is like seeing London at a standstill. Completely surreal. Nothing compares. Have you ever seen Westminster Bridge or the City of London, completely frozen?

90% of my sessions are scheduled during the morning golden hour and is where I truly believe my best work is produced. It is one of the many factors which go into the perfect photoshoot. Also, it means the rest of the day is yours to do whatever you fancy when waking up early. It’s like you got a few more hours into a day!

And hey. London has the best Golden Hours. Pinky pinky promise.