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Hey! I'm Amy, a Warwickshire wedding photographer, photographing love stories in The Midlands and across the UK. I'm an autumn lover, tea drinker, crafter, floral dress wearer and hopeless romantic!

I describe my photography style as storytelling. I unobtrusively document your day for you as it happens and I'm all about capturing real smiles, happy tears, big hugs, little details, fun, laughter and love!

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  • Writer's pictureAmy Bennett

Golden hour couple portraits - what they are and why you should allow time in your day for them!

Golden hour wedding photography at Hothorpe Hall and The Woodlands at Hothorpe Events.

Golden hour is my absolute favourite type of light to photograph couples in, whether it's for a romantic engagement shoot or on the wedding day itself. But what exactly is golden hour, and why should you make time for these portraits on your wedding day? I'll answer these questions in this blog and more, leaving you eager to include golden hour portraits in your wedding plans!

What does golden hour mean?

Golden hour, also known as the 'magic light', is a term photographers and videographers use to describe the soft, warm light that occurs around an hour before sunset. As the sun lowers in the sky, it creates longer shadows, a beautiful soft haze, and sometimes stunning sun flares in photos. The natural light makes photos look really romantic and magical, with the added bonus of being a flattering light to be photographed in.

What time is the golden hour?

Generally, the best golden light appears around an hour before sunset. The exact timing of the golden hour on your wedding day depends on the time of year and the sunset time for that date. Golden hour is most prominent in late spring, summer, and early autumn. If you're getting married in the later autumn/winter months the sun tends to be low during normal couple portraits anyway. Having photographed hundreds of weddings in various seasons and times of the year, I've gained valuable experience in predicting the timing of the golden hour. If you would like help and advice on when the golden hour may be on your wedding day, get in touch - I would love to help!

Prepare to be spontaneous - the 'golden hour' isn't actually an hour!

It's important to know that 'golden hour' isn't actually an hour! This magical light can come and go quickly, so be prepared to act fast for those stunning golden hour portraits. The prime time can all be over quickly, so acting fast is important! I am a sunset watcher - as I said above, I know roughly what time the golden hour is all year round, but it can still be unpredictable. It is a case of waiting for the right time and then going for it quickly when the light is right.

Gorgeous golden hour couple portraits in just 15 minutes!

If time in the wedding day schedule allows, I love taking my couples away for 15 minutes of extra couple portraits in the gorgeous, magical sunlight. This normally works out pretty well in a wedding day timeline as it usually happens after the wedding meal but before the evening reception starts. Most formalities, like the wedding breakfast and speeches, are done by this point in the day. Because of this, couples are much more relaxed, which shows in the photos. Plus, it is only about 15 minutes away from the guests, so it doesn't mean you miss any of the partying. It is oh so worth it when you get photos like this...

What if it isn't sunny on our wedding day? Or what if we miss the golden hour due to our timeline?

If the weather isn't sunny, we can still capture beautiful portraits. Clouds create a dramatic backdrop that complements photos wonderfully. Alternatively, if we miss the golden hour due to the timeline, we can take advantage of the 'blue light', which occurs 15-20 minutes after sunset and still provides stunning lighting for photos.

I hope this has got you just as excited as I am about golden hour! If you like the idea of having gorgeous couple photos taken in the gorgeous golden light and are searching for a wedding photographer for your day, I would love to hear all about your plans.


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