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When is the Best Time for Photos – The Golden Hour

Hi, I'm Tracey.
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As a professional photographer, I am often asked this question: ‘When is the best time to take our photos?’ 

What brings me joy is the ability to create stunning photographs. There is something truly magical about capturing a moment in time as a photographer, freezing it forever, and transforming it into a work of art that evokes feelings of awe and wonder.

One of the ways I achieve this is by taking advantage of the beautiful golden hour. In Perth, Western Australia, we are fortunate to have an incredible landscape that is enhanced by the way the sun sets over the ocean during this time of day. The golden hour is a paradise for me, providing the perfect conditions for capturing breathtaking shots with stunning colours and lighting that is difficult to replicate at any other time of day.

In addition to the natural beauty that surrounds us, understanding lighting is an essential tool. The right lighting can turn an average photo into a masterpiece, illuminating all the important aspects that make you stand out. Proper lighting can create a mood and atmosphere, making your shots full of depth and meaning.

When I’m behind the lens, my goal is not only to capture beautiful images but also to tell a story. I am always searching for unique angles, perfect lighting, and the opportunity to capture a defining moment that will leave people breathless.

What is the Golden Hour?

The Golden Hour is a term used by photographers to describe the time of day when the sun is low in the sky, creating a warm, soft, and golden light. It occurs twice a day, around sunrise and sunset, lasting for about an hour. During this time, the sun is at a lower angle, which means that the light has to pass through more of the earth’s atmosphere, resulting in a softer, diffused light.

The Golden Hour is highly desired by photographers (me) because of the beautiful quality of light it provides. The warm tones and long shadows add a magical touch to any photograph. Colours appear richer and more vibrant, and the soft light creates a flattering glow on subjects.

I will plan my shoots around the Golden Hour, taking advantage of the stunning light to create captivating images. It’s a time when nature seems to glow, landscapes become more dramatic, and portraits are infused with warmth and beauty.

Why is it the Best Time to Take Photos?

The Golden Hour is considered the best time to take photos for several reasons. And trust me, it’s not just because of the stunning light and breathtaking colours. Well, okay, that’s a big part of it. But there’s more to it than meets the eye.

First and foremost, the quality of light during the Golden Hour is truly magical. The warm, soft, and golden hues create a beautiful and flattering glow on subjects, making them look absolutely stunning. It’s like having a built-in beauty filter but being natural! Plus, the long shadows add depth and dimension to photos, adding an extra level of interest and visual appeal.

Additionally, the Golden Hour allows for more creativity and experimentation. The unique lighting conditions create opportunities for artistic compositions and innovative techniques. You can play with silhouettes, create beautiful sun flares, or capture that dreamy bokeh effect. It’s a photographer’s playground!

So, next time someone asks you when the best time to take photos is, you can confidently say, “The Golden Hour, my friend!” It’s a magical time when the world is bathed in a warm, golden glow, and your photos will come to life with beauty and wonder.

Your Photos Depend on the quality of light of the Golden Hour

The quality of light during the Golden Hour plays a crucial role in the outcome of your photos. When there is limited light available, it can impact the technique, style, and overall quality of the image. 

I especially love the way the sun’s rays hit the skin and hair, giving the photo a truly stunning look. On days when the sky is overcast, it can be darker before the Golden Hour, as the sun is covered up. Although some photographers enjoy the naturally cast shadows of such days, I find the photos to be a little flat, though they do possess an even tone.

After the sun is set and it’s getting darker a lot of photographers use flash, but this can manipulate the quality of the authenticity of the sunset and change the actual colours to make the image look darker. As a film photographer, I simply cannot replace the warm, alluring illumination of the Golden Hour with anything artificial.

Tips for capturing the perfect shot during your portrait session.

When it comes to capturing the perfect shot during a portrait session, there are a few key tips and tricks that can help you make the most of the Golden Hour.

PORTRAIT

For a perfect portrait shoot, I always scout locations beforehand and take note of where the sun will be setting. I plan the shoot around one or two hours before sundown so that you can take advantage of the ideal lighting conditions and achieve the most flattering result for your skin tone.

WEDDINGS

When it comes to bridal photos, I like to save the best light for the bridal portraits. This is also the first time you are alone together, and it creates a special feeling. The Golden Hour provides the most beautiful light, and many couples remember this moment above everything else.

Some wedding receptions take place at a time of day which coincides with the Golden Hour. In summer, this moment arrives later in the evening due to longer days. To ensure I capture the best light, consider leaving the reception about 20 minutes before sunset and creating lasting memories. Typically, the best time for Golden Hour portraits is when the entrees are being served. I keep the timeline short so you can quickly return to your guests.

In order to determine the optimal locations for stunning pictures, I consult with you on the lighting of the wedding venue. My creative planning and resourcefulness enable me to produce remarkable photos, regardless of the environment.

Punctuality is of utmost importance during your portrait session and wedding day, as being late or going over time will reduce the amount of the best light available during the Golden Hour and thus, shorten the portrait session. As soon as the light is gone, night sets in and the chance to take quality photos in the natural light has passed. 

Lastly, be patient and enjoy yourself! The Golden Hour is a magical time, so take pleasure in the process of capturing beautiful images. Using film is a creative endeavour that requires time. Embrace the breathtaking light provided by the Golden Hour while fully immersing yourself in the moment. 

How to get the best out of the Golden Hour

Working together on your special day or portrait session, I will ensure you never miss the best possible light. As a photographer, I recognise the value of this mystical time of day, and I know how to get the most out of it to create beautiful, timeless photos. I will use my professional film camera Contax 645, to bring out the beauty of the Golden Hour, leaving your skin radiant. You will be enchanted by the Fine Art Style.

We will usually begin 1-2 hours prior to the golden hour so we can spend the appropriate amount of time creating beautiful photographs. I suggest arriving 20 minutes early to our session so we can discuss locations and plan out the day.

When it comes to a wedding, I take extra measures to ensure nothing of significance is missed. We will create a timeline one month before and discuss it again over the phone two weeks prior. This ensures we are on the same page and don’t overlook anything.

It would be an honour to work together and produce photos that will be cherished for a lifetime. I am excited to embark on this enchanting journey with you and preserve these unforgettable moments.

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Behind the lens

Welcome to my journal

Welcome to my journal! I am thrilled to have you here, whether you're seeking love story inspiration or helpful tips for your wedding day planning. As a fine art wedding photographer based in Western Australia, I specialize in capturing the special moments of couples in Perth, Swan Valley, Dunsborough, and the Margaret River Region. But even if you're from further afield, my love for travel means I am eager to follow you wherever your journey takes you.

With my camera in hand and your vision as our guide, we can create incredible images that tell the unique story of your love. I believe in the magic that happens when people are captured at their most authentic and beautiful, and it is my passion to make that happen for you.

Whether you're a soon-to-be bride or groom, a hopeless romantic, or just someone who loves a good story, I invite you to stay awhile and journey with me through the pages of my journal. Together, we can unlock the secrets to creating a love story that will last a lifetime.

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Perth Wedding Photographer