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  • Writer's pictureJasmin C

Six Golden Hour Photography Tips | How to Shoot at Golden Hour





As a photographer, you’ve definitely heard the term "golden hour" being used to describe the time of day when the sun is low on the horizon and the light is soft and warm. Shooting during the golden hour can make for some truly stunning photos, so it’s super important for any photographer to understand how to take full advantage of it!! Let’s talk about some techniques and tricks on how to shoot at golden hour. I’ve come up with six golden-hour photography tips!


Taking Full Advantage of Natural Light at Golden Hour


Plan ahead


Before you head out to shoot, it's important to plan ahead and know when the golden hour is going to occur in your location. This varies based on the time of year! There are plenty of apps and websites that can help you determine the exact time, so make sure to do your research and arrive at your location with plenty of time to set up.



Create Contrast


Create some contrast behind the subjects' heads, so they don't fade into the sky. You can do this by having trees or buildings behind them! Use those structures or trees to let the light peak through and create sun flares.


Play around with angles


One of the best things about shooting at golden hour is the beautiful, warm light that it provides. Face your subjects back to the light, or the side profile. The light will highlight your subjects, creating beautiful contrast!


Make sure to use this soft light to your advantage by positioning your subject in a way that takes advantage of the light and creates interesting shadows or highlights.


Sun flares = magic


Use focal points of the subject to create sun flare. For example, having the light hit the subject’s nose when a couple is about to kiss will create magic!


Bonus editing tip: When you’re editing your beautiful golden hour photos, use the Dehaze slider in Lightroom to minimize the haze that the sun flare can create.


Find the best aperture for golden hour


During golden hour, the light is softer and more diffuse, which can create a dreamy, ethereal effect in your photos. That’s why everyone LOVES golden hour photos!! To really maximize this, try shooting with a wide aperture (e.g. f/2.8 or lower) to create a shallow depth of field and blur out the background.


Be prepared to adjust your settings


Just like all things in photography, it’s important to be flexible while you’re doing a golden hour photoshoot!! Because the light during golden hour can change quickly, it's important to be prepared to adjust your camera settings on the fly. Be ready to change your aperture, shutter speed, and ISO as needed to get the best possible shot.



Keep reading for more photography tips!!


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