Golden hour is absolutely my favourite type of light to photograph couples in. Be it for a romantic engagement shoot or on the wedding day itself! But what is golden hour? What time is golden hour? In this blog, I will be answering all of that and more and by the end of it you will defiantly planning to fit golden hour portraits into your timeline!
What does golden hour mean?
Golden hour, sometimes also known as the 'magic light', is a term often used by photographers and videographers to describe the light in the evening around an hour before sunset. As the sun is lower in the sky it creates longer shadows, a beautiful soft haze and sometimes even sun flares on the photos. It makes photos look really romantic and magical and the bonus is it is a super flattering light to be photographed in.
Gorgeous 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. By this point in the day, most of the formalities like the wedding breakfast and speeches are done. So because of this, I find couples are so much more relaxed and it really 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 time is the golden hour?
Generally, the best golden light is around an hour before sunset. The time the golden hour is on your wedding day will all depend on the time of the year and when sunset is on your wedding date. Golden hour is normally best in the late spring, summer and early autumn months. If you're getting married in the later autumn/winter months the sun tends to be low during normal couple portraits anyway. I love the golden light so much, that I try and do them all year round when I can. I have photographed over 100 weddings during all different seasons and different times of the year, so I now know roughly what time golden hour is due. If you would like help and advice as to when golden hour may be on your wedding day, get in touch - I would love to help!
Prepare to be spontaneous - the 'golden hour' is NOT an actual hour!
It is important that you know, 'golden hour' isn't actually an hour! This magical light can come and go very quickly so be prepared to be spontaneous if you want a gorgeous golden hour photo! The prime time can all be over quite quickly so it is important to act fast! 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 very unpredictable. It is a case of waiting for the right time and then going for it quickly when the light is right.
This one looks like it was maybe taken somewhere abroad right? Nope, it is England! A gorgeous summer's evening at Rutland water!
What if it isn't sunny on our wedding day? Or what if we miss the golden hour due to our timeline?
If the sun isn’t out and it’s a bit cloudy, don’t worry, I still like to take extra portraits of you if we can! The clouds create a dramatic backdrop and the benefits of you still be more relaxed by this point are still there! If it is sunny on your wedding day but we miss the golden hour light due to your timeline, there is also something called 'blue light'. This is the 15-20 minutes after sunset. It is still a stunning light to photograph in! We can even photograph in both golden hour and the blue light if you want to get the best of both!
I hope this has got you just as excited as I am about golden hour portraits! If you like the idea of having gorgeous couple photos taken is the gorgeous golden light and are searching for a wedding photographer for your day, I would love to hear all about your plans.
Midlands wedding photographer
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