• Connor Stephen

Choosing the Right Time for Photos

Ok, so you’ve decided where you’re going to have your photos, but have you thought about WHEN you’re going to actually do them? The time of day you choose will greatly impact the light your photographer will have to work with, which will, in turn, affect how your photos will look.

Here is a great example of the golden hour - the light is soft and gentle

For your wedding (or your family/couple’s session), you want to make the rest of your day work around these perfect moments if you can. It might sound beautiful to have your ceremony at sunset, but do you want your first photos as a married couple to be in the dark?

The best time for photos is during the time known by photographers as ‘The Golden Hour’.

This is the time around sunset (about an hour before and a half-hour or so after) where the sun fills the air with that dreamy golden light we love. It’s what makes photos appear warm and covers everything in that soft light, where the light wraps around you and hugs you, dances around and fills you with warmth. Perfect for intimate moments, cuddles, snuggles and close-up photos of faces!

Of course, I’m not saying this is the only time your photographer will get amazing photos, but if you love those golden moments or outdoor locations with little/no shade it is something to consider.

Sam & Kristian got married in the early afternoon - as you can see, the gorgeous gardens made for an amazing location and helped soften that bright afternoon sun.

“But we are planning to get married at midday” I hear some of you say. Don’t stress! There are plenty of ways to work around this and of course, you will still have a gorgeous collection of photos and memories at this time. Think about where you are getting married. Perhaps there are some beautiful buildings you could work with, or maybe you’re getting married in the forest, filled with soft dappled light. Things like these will mean a bit of protection against the strong midday/afternoon sun and your photographer can use these to create stunning images.

I would recommend working around the golden hour if you are planning on a location that is completely outdoors and free of shade - eg. the beach - as it will stop harsh contrasting shadows across faces and people. Of course, sometimes things like your budget, accessibility to areas or just your personal preferences will affect the schedule of your day, and you can work around it.

For example, you may be having a midday beach wedding, to work with your budget for an afternoon reception. Instead of jumping into couple photos straight after your ceremony, you could continue to the reception and then come back to the beach (or location of your choice) at a later time, when the light will be softer and make for more gorgeous photos. Then you can still enjoy your reception, party, dance and then take a moment to relax and sneak your first moment alone as a married couple later on!

As you can see, I’ve added some examples in this post of photography at various times in the day. Which is your favourite image, and why? Do you know someone who is getting married? Share this article with them now to help them plan out their big day! As always, I’d love to hear what you have to say - feel free to send me an email or Instagram DM - I always make sure to reply to everyone! I hope you found this information useful and interesting!

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