Our Top 5 Reasons to Schedule Golden Hour Photos

Taking wedding portraits is one of our favorite parts of the job! Capturing the love and devotion between soon-to-be and newly married couples is a delight and an honor and we are humbled when clients trust us to capture these important memories for them. That is why we do everything we can to ensure that couples understand all of their options when preparing for their big day.

One aspect that can get overlooked is planning for secondary portrait opportunities with the married couple on their wedding day. Many couples love doing “first look” portraits to capture that special moment privately and have a moment to pause and take a deep breath before the big event. We love photographing these moments and they can result in up to 30 percent more portraits for the couple (which is a great way to maximize your investment)!

But there’s another secondary portrait opportunity that sometimes gets overlooked, and it’s our absolute favorite time to take wedding portraits — the golden hour. Those couple of hours right after sunrise and right before sunset create the best conditions for photography. The light is indirect, glowy, and is prime time for taking natural light portraits outdoors.

Not convinced yet?

Our top 5 reasons you should consider scheduling golden hour photos for your wedding

1. The Light

I know I’ve talked about the light already, but seriously, have you seen the pictures? Look at the sun streaming through the trees. Look at the soft glow on the couple’s faces. Everything looks dreamy and romantic. It’s the ultimate light to capture those tender moments. While we can always utilize off-camera flash and bring in some light when it’s too dark, the bottom line is that you can’t get pictures like this at any other time because no artificial light can completely replace or mimic the sun.

 

2. Backup Portrait Time

Weddings rarely stick to the schedule. In the time between the ceremony and the reception, you won’t always have time to complete the wedding party photos and still have time to get all the portraits as planned. Inclement weather, wardrobe malfunctions, and the sheer logistics of moving everyone around can eat into the scheduled time. No worries! If you have a golden hour photo shoot planned, you have a second opportunity to get those special couple portraits. Having that extra session scheduled can really cut down on the stress of the day.

3. More Portrait Options

Of all the photos we take during the day, we know that some of the most cherished portraits are the ones that capture the love between you and your new spouse. They are the photos that will hang on your wall, become profile pics, and be returned to again and again on each wedding anniversary. We love to give couples different options of images not just with location and moments, but also with different lighting. Lighting can make all the difference between pictures you like and pictures you love and optimal lighting can be a big part of that equation!

4. Location Is Everything

Couples often choose a venue because they envision how great the landscape will look in their portraits. Some features simply look better at golden hour—particularly water and wide spaces. Water is challenging to shoot in full light because the sun reflects on the water and creates harsh, overexposed images. When there is no natural shade to break up the light, it is difficult to achieve the romantic look most couples are seeking in their portraits. If you have your heart set on a water feature or a wide open space, a golden hour portrait session is the perfect solution.

5. Alone Time

Last, but most importantly, the alone time provided by scheduling a golden hour session is priceless! Most golden hour sessions occur during the reception. Taking that 20 minutes to step out of the reception with your spouse and reconnect on a personal level is so special. Receptions are a whirlwind, so it’s a treat to have romantic alone time to decompress with the person you love.

If you’re interested in scheduling a golden hour portrait session during your wedding, it’s important to keep it in mind when planning the reception. This way toasts, cake cutting, and other important events don’t interfere with the short time frame between golden hour and sunset.

You can use this time and date website to find when the sun will set on your wedding day. Talk to your photographer about the best time before sunset to schedule the session, and if you are working with us, please let us know if you are interested in taking advantage of golden hour on your wedding day and we can help make sure we fit some time into your timeline the best way possible!

And if you are searching for a photographer and videographer, we would be honored to be a part of your big day. Contact us to learn more about how we can make the memories of your wedding last forever.

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Sara and Adam are are a husband and wife photography and cinematography team based out of Fredericksburg, VA. Our primary work consists of weddings, engagements, portraits, studio photography, and pets. We are available for travel within Northern Virginia, DC, Charlottesville, and Richmond and would love to speak with you. Please shoot us a quick message in the form to the right and we will be in touch shortly!

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