What Is Golden Hour and How Is It Important To Your Photos?

What is Golden Hour?

Golden hour or as some refer to it, “Magic Hour”, is the portion of time just after sunrise or just before sunset. The sun is on the horizon and this creates a diffused, soft light.

Fun Fact:  Golden Hour isn’t always just an hour.  The closer you are to the equator, the length of time  is shortened.  If you’re further away, you’ll have a longer  Hour.

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Why is Golden Hour light better than mid-day light?

I know…for a lot of you, daytime might be easier and that’s ok!  But this Golden Hour stuff isn’t just a fad.  The soft lighting does wonders for any shadowing, there’s no blown out highlights or speckling.

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The image above is one I LOVE and was taken around 5:00 pm during the summer months and would be considered mid-day during the summer months.  At that time, the sun is still kind of high and will create some blown highlights, harsh shadowing, squinting and some color casting.

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This image was taken at sunset and as you can see, the harsh lighting, color casting and showing is gone.  The sky isn’t blown out either so you get a nice, even, diffused lighting.

Have I convinced you yet?

So if you’re a photographer starting out and trying to understand golden hour and all it has to offer – get out there and experiment. If you’re a client wondering why your photographer is encouraging you to schedule your family session around sunset (meaning the kids will be up past their bedtime and you’ll have to rearrange their naps), trust them. Rescheduling naps and rearranging meals one or two days out of the year to have gorgeous portraits that just glow and look AMAZING printed on HUGE canvases on your home walls are totally worth it. If you want the best photographer in business, go there.

  1. […] The lighting at golden our is amazing and has so many benefits for your family photos on the beach and you can find out more information on my blog here! […]

  2. […] look for shaded areas during the midday or hold out until the evening hours for the ever famous Golden Hour.  The best photos of children are the ones of them just being children. Let your baby put their […]

  3. […] If you need to have portraits done during those hot months, schedule them for the early morning hours.  Often times, it’s much cooler and tolerable than the evening hours.  Learn more about those early morning hours here. […]

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