Golden Hour Portraits - Harnessing the Magic

Golden Hour Portraits - Harnessing the Magic

Hey there, photography enthusiasts! Kelly here, and today, I am thrilled to share with you about one of my favorite times to snap pictures – the Golden Hour. This period is when the sun dips low in the horizon before sunset or just after sunrise, and as a photographer, it's a dream come true. Have you ever wondered what could give your portrait that magical touch? Well, the secret lies in harnessing the Golden Hour. It’s the perfect time to create stunning portraits and breathtaking landscapes. In this blog, I'll be sharing some tips and tricks to help you harness the Golden Hour for amazing portraits.

Timing is Key

Timing is everything. The Golden Hour itself lasts between 20-45 minutes, depending on the time of year and location. You can easily find Golden Hour timings by searching for sunset and sunrise times in your city. Plan your shoot to ensure you have ample time to get everything you need. Remember, as the sun sets, the light changes very quickly. So do not be late!

Location, Location, Location!

Location and composition play a vital role in making the most of the Golden Hour. You'll want to scout out your location beforehand to ensure you have the perfect backdrop. The right setting can take your portraits to the next level. Look for open spaces, a view of the horizon, and an unobstructed line of sight to capture that warm, golden light.

Understand Light and Exposure

Understanding light and exposure will make all the difference in your golden hour portraits. The yellow or golden light of the Golden Hour means that there is less contrast and shadows in your photos, resulting in better-quality images. Open up your aperture to allow more light into your lens and offset the lower light at this time of day. Be mindful of your composition and the contrast between the background and your subject.


Equipment Preparation

Be prepared. This is key to taking great photographs. During the Golden Hour, you don't want to fumble with your equipment trying to change lenses or camera settings. Be ready to capture that perfect moment. You may want to bring a tripod to increase stability and a reflector to bounce light onto your subject. A tripod helps when you need to shoot long exposures or during low-light situations. On the other hand, a reflector will enhance the light on your subject, giving them that dazzling glow.

Editing your Portraits

Post-processing can be just as crucial as the actual shoot itself. You'll want to take the time to edit your portraits to enhance the light and bring out the subtle detail or retouch any distracting elements. Adding a vignette might also give your photos that signature Golden Hour look. However, be careful not to overdo it. Your goal is to enhance your photos' natural look, not to make them look fake.

That's a Wrap!

The Golden Hour can add that magical element that elevates your portraits from average to breathtaking. I speak from experience as a photographer. This period may only last for a short time, but with proper planning, understanding light, composition, and editing your photos, you can make the most of the limited golden hour shooting time. Putting in the effort and time before, during, and after your shoot can make all the difference in your images’ quality. So go ahead, plan ahead, and harness the Golden Hour for your next portrait session. Happy Clicking!