Choosing the time of day for your portrait session is often something that trips people up when scheduling their session. Fortunately, I’m always here to help you individually and thought a blog post might also help. It’s actually a lot simpler than some might think.
The rule of thumb is that we want to be shooting during “golden hour”. What’s golden hour? It’s the two hours after sunrise or the two hours leading up to sunset.
Now to answer the question, why do we shoot during that time? Why doesn’t 12 pm work? The two hours after sunrise and the two hours leading up to sunset are the times that the sun is high enough in the sky to give us enough light to work with but also the sun is low enough to avoid harsh shadows on your faces and to give us that warm glow around you.
Of course, due to the light of each season and daylight savings time, the exact times do change. So what does that mean, what is the exact times for each season that we should be shooting your portrait session?
Sunrise Option 7:00 am to 7:30 am start times
Sunset Option 3:00 pm to 3:30 pm start time
Since the sunset times change so much during these three months, the shoot times will change as well. You can plan for a time between
Sunrise Option 6:30 am to 7:30 am
Sunset Option 3:30 pm to 6:00 pm start times.
June – August
Sunrise Option 6:15 am to 7:00 am
Sunset Option 6:00 pm or 6:30 pm start time
September – November
Again, since we’re in the months with daylight savings time, things vary so much. So we’re back to looking at start times between
Sunrise Option 7:00 am to 8:00 am
Sunset Option 3:00 pm to 5:30 pm.
Another piece to keep in mind when choosing which season is best for your portrait session is that I don’t book portraits sessions on weekends unless it’s about 3 months out and I don’t have a wedding booked on the date. At that time I open up some weekends dates to portrait sessions. So if there are no weekend dates available, you’ll have to choose a weeknight and if work affects the time you’re able to meet you may want to choose a summer date to have a later start time.