Anyone who knows me, has worked with me, or even just followed me on social media knows I am obsessed with pretty light. To the extent that I can be out for a walk with my husband on a lovely evening where the light is just right, and I will make him stand in it for a photograph, just so I can record the pretty light. So what is it about the right light that makes me hyperactively jump up and down with excitement on your wedding day? What is so special about golden hour wedding photography?
You may have come across the term ‘golden hour’ during your wedding research and if you’re kind of unsure as to what it means then hopefully this post will help shed some light on what it is as well as share with you why golden hour is an important element to consider when planning your wedding time line.
SO WHAT IS GOLDEN HOUR?
The term golden hour has been used to refer to that magic time of day before sunset where the sun is in the perfect position in the sky to cast that gorgeous, soft, flattering light that sends photographers crazy. If used properly it can create the most beautifully soft, elegant and ethereal photographs.
Now, golden hour is it a bit of a fickle beast and you aren’t likely to experience golden hour on a rainy or cloudy evening. The sky needs to be relatively clear for the golden hour effect, but you would be surprised how many rainy days turn into glorious golden evenings! It can also depend on the geography of your venue. If the grounds are low down and surrounded by tall trees then the likely hood is that you will lose the sun before it even gets to golden hour. If you love the look of golden hour photographs but your venue itself it’s ideal for capturing them, then it could be worth scoping out surrounding areas that are more open. Sometimes even a neighbouring field can result in dreamy photographs when the light is right.
WHAT TIME OF DAY IS GOLDEN HOUR?
This obviously changes according to the season and in fact isn’t always just an hour. You could essentially experience golden hour type light for a good couple of hour window if it’s a clear and sunny day. Usually in the summer, golden hour times perfectly with when most wedding breakfasts/speech are coming to an end – which makes it the perfect time for capturing some stunning couple portraits. My favourite golden hours happen in the autumn, late September and early Oct is my favourite time of year for weddings the evening sun can be absolutely perfect at this time of year.
HOW CAN WE GET GOLDEN HOUR PORTRAITS?
Of course the weather in this country is never guaranteed so not every wedding will be lucky enough to experience golden hour. However you will have a better chance of catching some golden hour wedding photography if you keep an element of flexibility during the time of day when golden hour if likely to appear. Sometimes I will quickly nip away with the bride and groom during the wedding breakfast, maybe between courses – or after the meal and before the speeches. I will only disturb you during this time is the light is looking beautiful and I know for experience the best times during the meal where you won’t miss anything or be missed. It only usually takes 10 mins to capture some breath taking golden hour portraits and it is so so worth it. The light at this time of day is like nothing else! Just take a look through this small selection of golden hour portraits from last year to see for yourself.
You can read more wedding photography tip on my blog here