For Brides

March 21, 2017

Golden Hour Portraits


I’ll admit, this is definitely a buzzword in the wedding world. I usually try to avoid such cliches, but there is a reason everyone can’t stop talking about golden hour! If you don’t know what I’m talking about, golden hour refers to about an hour after sunrise or before sunset when the sun is low in the sky and the light is warm and soft. You don’t need to be a photographer to appreciate this magical time of day- in fact you probably have many memories that take place during this pre-sunset glow. To reveal my inner dork, golden hour often reminds me of montage scenes in movies and music videos. I know you know what I’m talking about! They are driving down a country road, her hair is in the wind, the sunlight keeps coming in and out as the whirl past different scenes….

Anyway, it’s a photographer’s dream.I dare you to go look at your wedding Pinterest board right now- chances are most of your favorite images are taken during this elusive hour when there are no harsh shadows or blinding highlights. This is because light is everything to a photographer- it’s worth more than the location, composition, and subject combined.To put it simply, there is truly no replacement for soft, romantic light. It just makes everything look more magical.


I am particularly partial to backlit photographs (example below) where the sunlight comes from behind the subject, and this just doesn’t work when the sun is high and bright in the sky. However, during golden hour this effect works beautifully. It creates a warmth and dimensionality that brings subjects to life in a new way. Notice the long shadows as the sun is low on the horizon- not only does golden hour benefit the subject, but also the landscape!

These exact same photos taken during a different time of day would have a very different feel. And while there’s less flexibility on a wedding day, it’s still a priority for me to ensure that you have some photos during golden hour. I mean, if there were ever a day to get some stunning portraits, it’s your wedding day!


I work with you closely to establish a timeline that allows us to maximize shooting time during golden hour, but whenever this is simply not possible, I try to steal you away for just five or ten minutes of bride & groom portraits after dinner. Of course I only do this with your permission, but in retrospect it often ends up being a favorite memory. Weddings go by in a blur and you don’t get as much one-on-one time with your new spouse as you may imagine! So not only do you get dreamy, romantic portraits, but it’s also a great excuse to sneak away and take in the moment together.




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