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You’ve booked a date with your photographer, but now here’s the question. Do you book your photo session during golden hour? Or do you book your photo session before golden hour? And what’s the difference?

We’ve all heard about that magical hour when the sun gives off it’s famous glow, and some may say that the golden hour is the best time to photograph. However, that depends on what you are looking for and the story you are trying to tell.

Let’s start if you choose to shoot outside of the golden hour. The lighting you will get is flat and ambient. This kind of lighting is great for headshots, and sessions where time constraints exist. An example being, family photos, where there is limited availability, and you need to shoot in the middle of the day. The biggest difference is the type of light you will have when you choose to shoot.  This kind of light is just as beautiful as golden hour, but it gives off a different feel. 

Now, let’s say you’ve chosen to shoot within that hour, to hour and half, before the sunsets. This is prime golden hour, and it brings to your photos a yummy, golden, warm glow because of the setting sun. At the start of my golden hour sessions, I love to start with the sun backlighting my subjects because it gives the photos a warm glow coming from behind. Then, as the sun starts to dip behind the trees and set, I turn my subjects around so that they are being illuminated by the sun, giving them a glow on their face. 

A big perk of golden hour is that you will get naturally occurring sun flares in your photos, that add a certain emotional dimension to the story unfolding in front of your camera. I especially love having playful and romantic sessions during this hour, because the unique light gives the photos more dimension and adds emotion to your session, that ambient light doesn’t. 

In the end, it is completely dependent on the type of session you are shooting, your subjects, and the story you are trying to tell. Have confidence in your shoot, choose what works best for you, and your photos will be amazing!

Want to book your own session? Let’s chat!

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